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Restrictions on Firing Employees in California

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in California are subject to these state rules that restrict firing employees under certain circumstances.

California laws make it unlawful for an employer to fire an employee for:

  • testifying as a witness
  • refusing to violate the safety code
  • serving on jury duty
  • disclosing the amount of his or her wages
  • reporting information about a violation of law
  • filing a workers' compensation claim
  • a conflict between the employee's religious beliefs and employment requirements
  • opposing any unlawful employment practices or filing a complaint, testifying, or assisting in any enforcement proceeding
  • taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel
  • using family/medical leave

California laws also do not allow an employer to:

  • refuse to allow time off to vote
  • require employees to take polygraph tests
  • fire agricultural employees to discourage or encourage unionism
  • deny equal employment opportunity
  • violate protections for veterans or reservists
  • fire an employee due to garnishment of wages

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