Does the Reason My Employer Gave Me For Firing Me Matter?
Being fired is one of the worst days of your life. Most of the time your employer will give you a reason for the firing. Sometimes it has to do with your performance, sometimes it has to do with an economic reason, or some combination of both. However, the default rule in California is that every employment relationship is an at will employment—as codified by Labor Code section 2920.
What this means is that there is some other express term, your employer may fire you for any or no reason at any time, and does not need to give you a reason for your firing.
This can be incredibly frustrating for a lot of people that are fired for a reason that they believe to be invalid. Unfortunately, most of the time the reason your employer fired you does not matter. The most common ways that you can make it matter is by succeeding on either an implied contract claim or discrimination claim. I will discuss both of these in another post.
However, if you can show that your employer could only fire you for good cause, then the invalid reason given to you becomes much more important as if you can disprove their stated reason, it increases the likelihood of you succeeding on a wrongful termination case. These situations are few and far between, and a lot of the times the best advice I can give to someone is just to move on with their lives and try to move forward.