Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me Under False Accusations in California?

Frank S. Clowney III

Whether you enjoy your job or simply tolerate it for the paycheck, you likely rely on the income it provides to support your family. When something threatens this income, it can put you and your family in a place of financial vulnerability, and because of this, most people try to remain employed.

Unfortunately, your employment status is not always under your control. Your employer has the right to terminate you without cause in California. However, there are certain circumstances in which your employer cannot legally fire you. False accusations are one such situation.

You have the right to take legal action if you have been fired because of false accusations, rumors, or misinformation about yourself. Our firm is passionate about providing legal resources to employees in California, and we can help you with your wrongful termination claim.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Though many employers can fire employees without cause, there are special situations that prevent an employer from legally firing their employees. If an employer fires an employee under a protected situation, it is considered wrongful termination.

Wrongful termination can happen in many ways, including:

  • Termination that violates the terms of a contract
  • Termination because of a request for reasonable accommodation
  • Termination because of a protected trait (discrimination)
  • Retaliatory termination

In all the above scenarios, an employer was expected to provide certain rights or privileges but fired the employee rather than following the law. This is wrongful termination.

False Accusation Termination

In some situations, an employer may receive information and believe they have justifiable cause to fire an employee. However, if that information turns out to be untrue, the reason for termination is no longer valid.

For example, if a coworker says that you punched him in the breakroom and your boss hears about it, they may fire you for assaulting a coworker. If you did punch your coworker, this is a perfectly legal termination. However, if you did not punch your coworker, your boss fired you based on false information.

The law categorizes termination based on false accusations as wrongful termination. This means that you can take legal action against your employer to recoup your losses and set the record straight.

What to Do After a Wrongful Termination

It is important to do everything in your power to preserve your argument if you have been fired and believe that the process was illegal or based on false information. If you can, take the following steps:

  1. Preserve all your written communication surrounding the termination, including any emails or official letters.
  2. Ask human resources for a copy of your file. Get a denial in writing if they will not or cannot give your file to you. Do not sign any paperwork without first speaking to an attorney.
  3. Take the names and contact information of any coworkers who were involved in or privy to the events leading to termination.
  4. Call your attorney.

Though these steps cannot guarantee that your wrongful termination claim will succeed, an attorney can help to preserve your case and increase your chances of success.


What Is the Average Wrongful Termination Settlement in California?

The average wrongful termination case yields between $40,000 and $45,000 in settlement money. However, this does not include attorney fees and other expenses. The more evidence you can amass, the more egregious the offense and the higher your settlement will be. Hiring a qualified attorney to represent you may also lead to an increase in the amount of settlement that you receive. Speak directly with an attorney to learn what your settlement may be worth.

Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?

Yes. California law states that an employer can fire an employee without cause but cannot fire an employee for a protected cause. If they do so, it is considered wrongful termination and is liable to legal action. This category includes terminating an employee for discriminatory reasons or false information. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, speak with an attorney right away to begin building your claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination Claims in California?

You have up to three years to file a wrongful termination claim in California before the statute of limitations expires. However, it is in your interest to begin building your claim sooner. You may lose key evidence, and witnesses may lose the details of their memory of the event if you wait. It is necessary to begin building your wrongful termination claim as soon as you suspect that you have one.

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs any time an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. In some cases, this may be discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In other scenarios, it may be avoiding reasonable accommodations such as providing breastfeeding or pumping breaks. Retaliation is also a common form of wrongful termination, in which an employer fires an employee after they report a crime or makes a complaint.

Contact The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III

Wrongful termination cases can be difficult to prove and often put victims through significant emotional and mental turmoil. If you are facing one of these unfortunate legal situations, you should hire legal representation that truly cares about you.

Our team at The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III has been protecting the workers of California for many years. We have a thorough understanding of employment laws at the state and federal levels and have represented clients in a wide variety of cases. We are confident that our experience and passion for justice will be an asset to your wrongful termination or employment law claim.

Do not let wrongful termination, discrimination, or other employment crimes derail your career and jeopardize your family’s finances. Instead, turn to a law firm you can trust. For more information or to schedule your initial consultation, contact The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III.