How To Report Wrongful Termination in California (5 Easy Steps)

Updated: Mar 4

A Guide From The Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Referral Service

To be wrongfully terminated in California is to be fired for an illegal cause, this includes violation of federal anti-discrimination laws or a breach of contract. You should immediately request an unbiased lawyer referral from a California State Bar certified lawyer referral service. A pre-screened employment lawyer will be appointed within 15 minutes to review your case FREE of charge 24 hours a day.

wrongful termination lawyer los angeles

California Wrongful Termination in 2021

Specifically, an employee cannot be fired for the following reasons:

It is also against the law to fire an employee in California because they filed a legal complaint against the employer, or because the employee reported illegal activity at the workplace as a "whistleblower". Being fired because of these actions is considered "retaliation" under the law.

Can You Get Fired for No Reason in California?

California is classified as an at-will employment state. What this means is that your employer can terminate you for any reason and at any time with or without reason.

If your employer doesn’t like you as a person, doesn't have enough work for you, thinks you work too slow, they can fire you at any given time.

Most employee handbooks include what at-will employment is, and also requires an employee to sign an acknowledgment of their at-will status.

However, an employee working on an at-will basis may have a valid claim ONLY if he/she was terminated for reasons that are against the law under state and federal law.

5 Steps To Report Wrongful Termination in California:

  • Gather Documentation: Gather all the documentation and evidence necessary that supports your claim of wrongful termination. This can include emails, statements from coworkers or other witnesses, or other notes that you took detailing all instances where you were discriminated against by your employer;

  • Speak to Human Resources: Make you HR department aware of the situation and your belief that you were wrongfully terminated. This is particularly helpful because it not only shows that you attempted to seek resolution on your own but it's also documented proof that will support your claim;

  • Speak to a Lawyer Who Specializes in Employment Law: Make sure you seek legal advice a soon as you get wrongfully terminated from your job. Your Los Angeles Employment Lawyer will guide you and help developing a plan of action to make for a strong claim that will stand in court. Make sure you find a California Employment Lawyer with a clean record, great reviews, a valid license to practice law and someone with a proven track record in wrongful termination claims. Find the closest California Wrongful Termination lawyer here.

  • File a Claim with the EEOC or DFEH: The next step is to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Your lawyer will take care of all the paperwork. After receiving your claim, they will contact your employer and notify them of the charges and an investigation will begin. Sometimes, you may be required to file with the EEOC first and try to find a remedy through that agency before you can file a lawsuit;

  • File Civil Lawsuit: If the EEOC or DFEH decides not to pursue your claim against your employer, or if you don't agree with the resolution they suggest, they will provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue. This will then allow your wrongful termination lawyer to file a private civil lawsuit against your employer in a Los Angeles court. You must file your lawsuit within 90 days following the Notice from the EEOC.

Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer

How Much Is A Wrongful Termination Settlement in California?

The settlement amount of each wrongful termination case in California varies and depends a lot on your lawyer's ability to seek the maximum compensation possible. The compensation amount of a wrongful termination case also depends on the following factors:

The employer: Some employers are small and have limited financial resources, for example: if you file a wrongful termination case against a Fortune 500 company you can expect a much bigger settlement than if your case is against a small local restaurant.

Punitive damages: This is when punitive damages are available, a good example is if your case is based on disability discrimination. The value of your settlement will be significantly larger. Age discrimination, on the other hand, does not allow recovery of punitive damages.

Attorney and court fees: This depends on the total court fees and your attorney's fees. Make sure you find a wrongful termination attorney who charges reasonable attorney's fees.

los angeles wrongful termination lawyer

Back pay: The amount of money you would have been paid had you not been wrongfully terminated, this amount will be calculated from the date you were fired.

Front pay: The amount of money you would have made until finding a new job, this only applies if the employee cannot be reinstated.

Compensatory damages: Out-of-pocket expenses and other compensatory damages caused by workplace discrimination or harassment to which you as an employee were exposed.

Federal laws in the U.S. limit the amount of punitive and compensatory damages in a California wrongful termination claims. They cannot exceed $300,000 depending on the size of your employer’s business and other factors. Your wrongful termination attorney will be able to assess the business, it's assets, your claim and give you an estimate.

Related articles:

los angeles attorney referral service

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service is a California Bar Certified and approved Lawyer Referral and Information Service.


Our objective is that you receive the best comprehensive, high-quality legal representation while holding California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter












The California State Bar investigates in average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys every year.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney. 


We verify attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 


Our History 


Since 2005, we assist people who need legal representation but whose ability to locate reputable California Lawyers is frustrated by unreliable law firm marketing of self-promoting lawyers and biased legal advertising.


Members of the public have turned to the as a reliable legal resource for more than 15 years to locate reputable California lawyers.

How the LRS Works 

Via the portal, the public will find a competent California attorney. Lawyer referrals are available in English and Spanish.


Clients are referred to a local attorney who is competent to handle the case after having some fundamental knowledge about their legal issue. A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

Hundreds of articles on common legal issues, in English and Spanish, can also be obtained by the public via our blog. These pieces of information address a wide variety of common legal issues in Southern California.

A LRS representative will follow up via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain  the status of your case. 

About lawyers from our network

Lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar and have substantial experience in their area of practice.


Additionally, each LRS attorney has shown that he or she has a tracking record of ethics, professional responsibility and has met several requirements for membership.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

Additionally, attorneys are always monitored, insured and in good standing with the California State Bar. 

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online. Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via chat where you can get more information related to different areas of law that apply to your case.

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. Our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advise. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommend that you use option # 1 above. 

california attorney search
employment lawyer los angeles

>Popular Articles


Who is the best lawyer in California?


Everything you need to know about California workers compensation claims (2021 Guide For Employees)


Gender discrimination in the workplace


How do I prove age discrimination at work?


Disability discrimination in the workplace, a guide for employees


Discrimination against pregnant employees, how to report it

Sexual harassment at work and the #metoo movement

California employee rights 2021

Wrongful termination laws 2021

Employment lawyer referrals

Genetic information discrimination

Filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

National origin discrimination

Religious discrimination at work

How to win a wage claim

What is constructive termination


Qualities of a great labor lawyer

Wrongful termination examples

How to report your employer to the labor board

Why working with a California workers compensation lawyer makes sense

Who is the best lawyer in California?


Clients lawyers want to avoid


Is a bigger personal injury law firm better?


Why is difficult to find pro bono lawyers in California?


How do I find the top personal injury law firms in California?


Are there any good lawyers in Los Angeles?

Motorcycle accident laws in California


California workers compensation

California rideshare accidents


Construction accidents in LA


Car accidents in Los Angeles


Suffered from a brain injury?

California personal injury laws 2021

Pain and suffering settlements

>California Attorney Discipline


Personal injury attorney arrested after stealing millions in settlements from clients


How to check if a lawyer is licensed in California?


Where do I learn more about California attorney discipline?


Personal injury lawyer arrested after killing a woman while driving under the influence


FREE Case Review

Most cases are reviewed within 15 minutes. We are open 24/7

california attorney search


California Bar Certified

Lawyer Referral Service

-FREE Case Review In 15 Minutes Or Less-

Since 2005 our team has been working closely with the State Bar of California (certification # 0128) by providing unbiased and impartial referrals to ethical California lawyers.

We conduct due diligence by researching, vetting and recommending the best local attorney with proven experience in the type of law needed for your legal issue.

24/7 CHAT🚀