People know when they start a job in California that there will be certain expectations that they must meet. They must perform the job tasks satisfactorily otherwise they risk being terminated from the job. The company may have an internal policy about the process they must follow before they fire someone such as warnings or performance reviews, but ultimately if the employer does not think the job is being done correctly, they can fire the employee at any time.
However, the reason they fire the person must be because they did not do the job adequately. It cannot be because the of the person's age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, race and other protected classes. If they do, then the employee may have a wrongful termination claim against the employer. The difficult part is that it is not always easy to prove that the termination was based on things like race.
Race discrimination also protects people beyond those simply because of the race of the actual employee. It also protects employees who may be married to a person of a different race and also protects people of different color meaning the complexion of their skin not necessarily their race.
Sometimes it is not always easy to prove race discrimination though because the company may have policies that apply to all employees. However, if the policy disproportionately affects one race more than another, then it could be a form of racial discrimination. Employers also cannot harass people of a certain race in attempts to get them to quit. If this occurs it could be considered constructive discharge and it still could be considered a wrongful termination.
Most employers in California are well aware of the laws regarding race discrimination, but that does not mean they do not try and get away with doing it. They may be very creative in how they do it though and it is not always straightforward, but it is still there. Experienced attorneys understand the types of practices employers may use and may be a useful resource.
Source: www.eeoc.gov "Race/color Discrimination" accessed on Nov. 22, 2017