Skip to Content
Knowledgeable Legal Advocacy Serving All of California
Wrongful Termination

Walnut Creek Wrongful Termination Attorneys

Aggressive Legal Advocacy in the Bay Area

California is an “at-will” state, meaning that an employer can in theory choose to fire an employee at any time, for practically any reason. The legal reality is that an employer cannot fire an employee for illegal reasons, and you have rights if you are wrongfully terminated.

If you believe you were fired on unlawful grounds, our Walnut Creek wrongful termination lawyers are ready to help you explore your legal options. Our team at Ratner Molineaux regularly handles wrongful termination cases resulting from employment discrimination and retaliation and can provide the tenacious representation you need to hold your employer accountable. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to recover compensation for lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages. We have a strong track record of successfully advocating for our clients in wrongful termination scenarios and will fight to secure the maximum level of compensation available to you.

Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Claim in California

California employees are protected from being fired on certain protected grounds under state and federal laws. A vast majority of wrongful termination cases occur as a direct result of discrimination or retaliation.

In California, your employer cannot fire you as a result of your:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Political Beliefs
  • Pregnancy or Marital Status
  • Physical or Mental Disability
  • Age (if over 40)
  • Medical Conditions
  • Military or Veteran Status
  • Genetic Information

Employers also cannot retaliate against you for exercising your legal rights, such as:

  • Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
  • Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim
  • Reporting a Workplace Sexual Assault
  • Reporting Workplace Discrimination
  • Complaining about Unfair Pay or Unsafe Workplace Conditions
  • Blowing the Whistle on Unlawful Behavior
  • Requesting and Taking Protected Family or Medical Leave

In most wrongful termination situations, employers will not be direct about why they are firing someone. They will often use vague terms like “not a good fit” or “not working out” when justifying a dismissal that is actually the result of a protected characteristic or retaliatory act. Some employers will also exploit broader layoffs to conceal wrongful terminations.

Most wrongful terminations will be suspiciously timed. Consider an example scenario where your pregnancy – which you previously did not disclose – is now unavoidably apparent to colleagues in your workplace. Despite a strong performance record, you are surprised to learn you are being dismissed for ambiguous, unclear reasons. In this case, there is a good chance your employer discovered the pregnancy and chose to wrongfully terminate you to avoid having to provide you with pregnancy disability leave and other accommodations. 

In an example involving retaliation, you might be experiencing sexual harassment at work and decide to report the issue to your company’s HR department. While the HR representative might appear to be empathetic to your concerns, you are unsatisfied with the results of the internal investigation and elect to file a claim with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you are soon summoned to your boss’s office and told you are being let go for “not being a team player.” Your employer likely retaliated against your decision to file a claim, and you thus likely have a wrongful termination case.

California employees are considered “at-will” by default unless their employment agreement specifically states otherwise. Though most California workers are hired “at-will,” some employees – particularly executives – may sign contracts, including union contracts, that guarantee they can only be fired under specific, outlined circumstances. In these instances, you may have a wrongful termination case if your employer violates your employment agreement.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you have been wrongfully terminated and whether there is sufficient evidence to file a lawsuit. Our Walnut Creek wrongful termination attorneys can carefully evaluate the available evidence and advise whether you have a strong case. 


In California, you must file a wrongful termination lawsuit within two years of the date you were fired. Any legal action pursued after this deadline will almost certainly be dismissed, so it is important to act quickly when you believe you may have been fired illegally.

If you win a wrongful termination lawsuit in California, you may be able to recover several types of damages. We can help you understand what types of compensation you can expect in your case. 

You will in most situations be able to obtain compensation for lost wages. This includes any salaries or wages you would have otherwise received had you not been wrongfully terminated. You may also be able to secure monetary damages for lost benefits (such as accrued vacation time, scheduled bonuses, and retirement plan contributions) and future economic losses resulting from the unlawful firing.

Emotional pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate you for any anxiety, depression, or emotional distress you incurred as a result of your wrongful termination. Punitive damages will in rare cases be awarded if an employer’s conduct is especially egregious, fraudulent, and/or malicious.

Our Walnut Creek wrongful termination lawyers understand how these cases are adjudicated in California courts. Our team at Ratner Molineaux is proud to provide comprehensive legal counsel and representation to employees that have been adversely impacted by wrongful termination, and we will fight to do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome in your case. 

Do not let your former employer get away with wrongful termination. Schedule a free initial consultation with our team by calling (925) 332-1444 or contacting us online.

  • “Highly Recommend”
    Highly recommend. Laid off without notice by a shady Pre IPO lender in San Francisco. No one was given severance and they hired a labor attorney ahead of the layoffs to try and get around paying severance and warn notice. Without this firm taking my case, I would have never received a dime. Do not let a lay off without any severance deter you, contact this firm. Odd thing was 1 letter from this firm and severance was immediately offered. It's a game these high-tech companies are playing and gambling on. Their bet is 98% will not do anything severance and for the small percent that do, the amount to pay versus provided all in the layoff, is pennies on the dollar. Get your documentation, all emails, take photos of slack messages, record any zoom calls where there is a statement " no one is getting laid off" and so forth. Records any zoom calls where you are laid off. Take notes. Protect yourself and family. Working all the holidays and 12-hour days to be let go with nothing, is ridiculous. Use this firm and provide all your documentation. Good Luck!
    - J.C.
  • “Extremely Satisfied”
    I was referred to Ratner Molineaux after my daughter and I suffered injury and property damage resulting from a defective product in our home. During my very first conversation with David Ratner, I found him to be straightforward, professional, and extremely responsive to my concerns. Thereafter, David took the time to walk us through each and every stage of the litigation process and was an excellent advocate for my daughter and I. He remained fiercely protective of our interests and represented us well during mediation, preparation for trial, and settlement talks. David's style is very direct and to the point, which might be off putting for some, but worked well for me since I tend to be laser focused when dealing with business matters. Near the conclusion of my case, I had the opportunity to meet his partner Shelley, who had also diligently and effectively assisted with our litigation. In the end, our result was more than adequate, and both my daughter and I walked away extremely satisfied with both the representation we'd received, and the outcome of our claim. I definitely recommend this firm.
    - D.M.
  • “Professional opinion and experienced perspective”
    reached out to Ratner Molineaux after a previous attorney referral did not follow through despite the time sensitivity of my issue. The Ratner Molineaux team responded quickly to schedule a consultation on a work-related matter. David Ratner reviewed my issues and provided options and great advice how I could proceed. It was great peace of mind to have a professional opinion and experienced perspective. The consultation with David Ratner gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed to make my final decision.
    - L.C.
  • “Great guidance and quick resolution”
    David and team provided great guidance and quick resolution to my matter. I appreciated David's willingness to listen and the team’s responsiveness. I highly recommend them and will definitely call them again in the future if needed.
    - J.K.
  • “Kind compassionate service”
    Highly recommend. Prompt response and kind compassionate service with a difficult employment situation.
    - J.F.
  • “Really great to work with”
    David and Hanna were really great to work with. David took the time to educate me, provided service, and gave me the support I needed to start representing my own interests. Highly recommend this group.
    - Q.N.
  • “Outstanding”
    David and Shelley were outstanding to work with. I really appreciated their professionalism as well as their ability to guide me though difficult decisions regarding my case. I'd recommend them to anyone!
    - J.D.
  • “Thank you all for your help!”
    David, Shelley, Hanna and Halsey did an amazing job with helping me with my case. They truly made it an easy experience and I’m greatly appreciative of their efforts and all their hard work. Thank you all for your help!
    - H.A.

Request a Free Case Evaluation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy

Why Choose Us?

The Difference in Our Approach
  • Empathetic Counsel. Aggressive Litigation.
  • Involved in 300+ Jury Trials
  • 65+ Years of Experience in Litigation