That is the million-dollar question. In fact, if you get fired for any reason—or quit for any reason—you may be owed money. How much? It depends on a number of factors and can be best determined by understanding your workplace rights.

First things first…

One of the least desirable situations an employee can find themselves in is needing their current job and being harassed or discriminated against at work. Often, the practical demands of life may force an employee to endure discriminatory hardship simply because they need the money.

Federal laws protect you—but possibly not as much as California law

Federal law does prohibit discrimination by employers. However, California law extends protections to certain groups where federal law may not. Let’s look at some select federal laws:

The Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination based on sex.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964
This landmark federal legislation pertaining to class/group employment protection outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It was a cornerstone of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
The Age Discrimination Act protects against age-related discrimination.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
This legislation states: “The Act bars the use of genetic information in health insurance and employment: it prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future, and it bars employers from using individuals’ genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions.”

California law goes even further to protect your rights!

California remains at the forefront of employee rights and the laws are even more specific in the way they protect employees against workplace discrimination:

California Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1959 (FEHA)

This act is a powerful statute used to protect employees and fight sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful discrimination in employment and housing.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Also known as the Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program, this law was enacted in 2002 and extends unemployment disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new minor child.

While California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) protects the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, this does not mean the California workplace is free from discrimination. No doubt there is workplace discrimination and it happens each and every day—that’s why it’s imperative that you understand and fight for your rights.


Because California is an “at-will” employment state (employers are free to terminate employees at any time) employees think that they have no rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learn more about your employee rights. Contact us today.

Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With more than forty remote attorneys, LFECR is prepared to work on behalf of their clients anywhere in California.

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