Even in an "at-will" employment state such as California, employers here in Sacramento County are barred from letting an employee go for reasons that violate public policy or some other law. If an employee believes an employer fired him or her in violation of the law or public policy, that person may have a claim for wrongful termination. Many such claims end up settling before going to trial, which often better serves the employee's interests.
The former women's basketball coach at a university in southern California was terminated in 2013. At the time, she still had four years left on a five-year contract. The university gave one explanation for her termination, but the former coach had another.