2024 Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me Under False Accusations in California?

2024 Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me Under False Accusations in California?
May 07, 2024

If you’re wondering, “Can I sue my employer for firing me under false accusations in California?” know that it may be possible to do so in certain specific cases. For example, if the false accusations were levied due to discrimination based on your protected characteristics, you could have grounds for a wrongful termination claim.

However, in order to win a wrongful termination case, you must prove, by a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not), that your employer violated employment laws to fire you. The success of your case will depend on several essential factors.

Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Claim Against Your Employer

Wrongful termination happens when an employee is fired for unlawful reasons. This does not mean untrue or inadequate reasons are enough for an employment case, the reasons must be unlawful. In California, you may have the grounds for a wrongful termination claim if you were fired for the following reasons:

  • Discrimination: If you were terminated based on protected characteristics or categories such as race, gender, age (over 40), disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, medical conditions, or many others, you could file a wrongful termination claim.
  • Retaliation: If you were fired in retaliation for engaging in protected activities, like reporting employment law violations, filing a harassment complaint, or reporting government contract fraud, you could have grounds for a lawsuit. If an employer fires you for asking for legally protected leave, this is also illegal. In California, employees have the right to family and medical leave.

In some cases, employees might be fired for becoming pregnant or asking for pregnancy disability leave, which could also be grounds for a suit.

An employer could use false accusations as a pretense to fire an employee for illegal reasons, such as discrimination based on protected characteristics. In this case, the employee could have grounds for a wrongful termination claim. In such cases, clear evidence that the termination was for unlawful reasons other than those stated by the employer is critical.

Steps to Take When Filing a Legal Claim Against Your Employer

There are certain steps you may want to take if you choose to make a legal claim against your employer, including the following:

  • Gather Evidence: If you suspect you have been terminated for illegal reasons, collect documentation related to your employment. This can include emails, performance reviews, and any written accusations.It is vital to keep records of any communications and meetings related to your termination. If you can, write a detailed account of the events leading up to and following your termination, focusing on the false accusations while they are still fresh in your memory.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an experienced and trusted employment law attorney to evaluate your case. An attorney can help you understand the strengths, weaknesses, and merits of your case and the potential legal options available to you. Your attorney will provide a thorough case evaluation and help you develop a strategic legal plan that supports your claim and position, setting you up for success.
  • File a Complaint: If your termination involved discrimination or retaliation, you may need to file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before pursuing legal action.These agencies can investigate your claims and provide a right-to-sue notice. It is also advisable to file a formal complaint with your employer, as they can perform a detailed investigation internally. Your attorney can assist you in filing the appropriate complaints and navigating the administrative process.
  • Look Into Alternative Dispute Resolutions: At times, alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration may be your ideal option or a requirement from your employment contract. These methods typically offer a way to resolve disputes more quickly and less expensively than litigation. In some cases, this form of resolution may not be advisable, and litigation may be the most effective option.
  • File a Claim: If the dispute is not resolved through alternative methods, your attorney can file a legal claim on your behalf. The suit will outline your claims and the recovery you are seeking. The litigation process will typically include discovery, depositions, and possibly trial.


Q: What Is the Burden of Proof for Wrongful Termination in California?

A: The burden of proof for wrongful termination in California lies with the employee or the plaintiff. This means that the employee must prove that their termination was illegal with a preponderance of evidence. In other words, it must be more likely than not that their termination was illegal. The employee must prove that they were within a protected status or activity, that they suffered adverse employment action, and that the adverse action was caused by the protected characteristic or conduct.

Q: How Do I Fight Wrongful Termination in California?

A: You can fight wrongful termination in California in several ways. This includes filing complaints with your employer, filing complaints with state and federal agencies such as the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and pursuing a legal claim against your employer. It is important that you understand your rights, document everything, and seek legal advice as soon as you can.

Q: What Is the Average Settlement for Wrongful Termination in California?

A: The average settlement for wrongful termination in California is challenging to determine, as each claim is unique. A wrongful termination settlement can be impacted by factors including the strength of the case, the total damages suffered, each lawyer’s negotiating abilities, and more. Speak with an employment lawyer to achieve a fair settlement.

Q: Can I Be Fired for Making False Accusations?

A: In California, employment is at-will, meaning employers do not have to have a reason to fire you. However, you cannot be fired based on retaliation for protected activities or discrimination based on protected characteristics. If your case involves either of these elements, you may be able to file a successful wrongful termination claim.

Speak With a Qualified Employment Law Lawyer Today to Get the Help You Need

If you suspect that your workplace rights have been violated, it is crucial not to hesitate to seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact Hennig Kramer LLP, to arrange a consultation with an experienced and meticulous employment law attorney. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and providing the guidance and representation you need to navigate your legal options.

Our team is prepared to help you with a wide range of workplace issues, including wage and hour disputes, wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and more. Don’t face these challenges alone; let us support you in your pursuit of justice.

Recent Posts



Schedule a
Free Case Evaluation

Fields Marked With An * Are Required

more than 25 years of experience

Trusted Counsel When You
Need It Most