Employers sometimes try to step outside their legal obligations by creating a workplace so difficult that an employee is forced to leave their job. Employees whose employers have forced them to quit may have legal grounds for a wrongful termination case, even when they were not fired in the traditional sense of the word.
The meaning of “wrongful termination” in California involves an employer firing its employee for a reason that is not legal, including discrimination, retaliation, or harassment – or violation of the employee’s work contract. Employers cannot terminate their workers for any motivation that is in violation of California public policy. In the case that a business does terminate their employee for this reason, the firing becomes wrongful by superseding the at-will doctrine.