Want to determine if you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job? Here are a few steps to help you get set in the right direction taken from California law:

LOOK AT THE ELEMENTS OF A WRONGFUL TERMINATION CLAIM. The California Civil Instructions for juries 2430 (CACI) states that termination of employment is wrongful when:

  1. You were employed by the defendant;
  2. The defendant employer discharged or demoted you;
  3. That some violation of public policy was a motivating reason for your discharge or demotion; and
  4. the discharge or demotion caused you some harm.

Elements 1, 2, and 4 are pretty straightforward and easy to prove, making element 3 the most arguable point since a violation of public policy seems vague and undefined. Luckily, the courts have delineated what a “violation of public policy” looks like in past cases. “[T]he cases in which violations of public policy are found generally fall into four categories: (1) refusing to violate a statute; (2) performing a statutory obligation (3) exercising a statutory right or privilege; and (4) reporting an alleged violation of a statute of public importance.” (Gantt v. Sentry Insurance (1992) 1 Cal.4th 1083, 1090-1091 [4 Cal.Rptr.2d 874, 824 P.2d 680]. If you were fired as a result of doing any of those things, then you might have a valid claim.


DETERMINE YOUR DAMAGES. CACI 2433 provides for a measure of your provable damages that you will be awarded if you can prove all 4 elements of wrongful termination. The measure of damages is:

[a. Past economic loss, including [lost earnings/ lost profits/medical expenses:]
[b. Future economic loss, including [lost earnings/lost profits/lost earning capacity/ medical expenses:]
[c. Past noneconomic loss, including [physical pain/mental suffering:]
[d. Future noneconomic loss, including [physical pain/mental suffering:]

TOTAL $______

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. Employment litigation can be very complicated and nuanced. If you think you may have a possible case, contact an attorney so as to preserve your rights and interests.  An attorney will best know how to bring suit against your employer for what is rightfully yours, and for any pain and suffering the wrongful termination has caused you. The Idiart Law Group, LLC, does provide some guidance in wrongful terminations; we can at the very least point you in the right direction.  Call us at 855-772-6969 to get help now.5480578