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What are some examples of wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2022 | Wrongful Termination |

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer violates the law or a company policy when firing an employee in Oakland, California. In most states, employment is “at-will” and both employers and workers can terminate employment at any time. Certain criteria determine whether terminations are wrongful, but there are many examples.

Breach of contract

A breach of contract is a common reason for wrongful termination. A breach of contract is a violation of a written contract. A company contradicting an employee handbook is a common situation. An example of wrongful termination is an employer firing an employee after a verbal warning. The employee handbook may say a written warning comes after a verbal one.


Harassment creates a hostile workplace with insults about race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Another type of harassment includes unwelcome retaliation or advances from coworkers. An example of harassment in the workplace is coworkers who make constant uncomfortable comments.


A targeted dismissal based on age, race, gender, sexual preference, religion or disability is discrimination. Discrimination at work can be verbal or written retaliation. An example of wrongful termination from discrimination can come from correspondence from an employer. An employer’s email could contain derogatory mentions of an employee’s gender or age.

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal is a stealthier tactic employers may use to get an employee to quit. An example of constructive dismissal is when an employer gives an employee a demotion or pay decrease without a reason. Another example is an employer changing the location of work without enough notice.

Violation of public policy

When an employer ignores publicly mandated laws, that’s a violation of public policy. An example of wrongful termination in this situation is an employer firing an employee on medical leave. Another way an employer can commit crimes is to ask an employee to break the law. An example of committing illegal acts is an employer asking an employee to alter ledgers.

Another reason for wrongful termination is whistleblowing. Whistleblowers can’t lose their jobs for reporting violations of state or federal laws. An example is an employee presenting evidence and notifying authorities of discriminatory practices.

Instead of one wrongful termination law, state and federal regulations protect employees. To protect themselves, employees should understand the regulations and review their contracts. Human resources, labor departments and unions can answer any questions employees may have about wrongful termination.