Can you sue a company for civil damages if fired without just cause? Let's say that a company fires me because the CEO doesn't like me. In what situation would I be able to sue a company for firing me like that? Is there any criteria for determining if I can sue the company and win?

  • Do you mean, anywhere in the world? Not every country or state has the same laws.
    – user6726
    Jul 1, 2021 at 4:56
  • Labour laws vary massively in how much rights are given towards the employer and employee in regards to terminations, we need a specific jurisdiction to answer this with any amount of certainty
    – Neil Meyer
    Jul 1, 2021 at 16:42
  • IANAL, so only a comment. In Poland that would be a clear violation of labor law, and would be judged under it, presumably including lost wages and damages. I doubt you could pursue the case further under civil law, unless there are extra circumstances.
    – jaskij
    Jul 1, 2021 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


In California, according to the UNRUH Civil Rights Act, per Civ. Code § 51 (a), et seq., inter alia, the following protected grounds apply:

"(b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever."

I believe if the "CEO doesn't like [you]" on any of these grounds, you would have a FEHA claim, and you would be entitled to a civil penalty of

Pursuant to Cal. Gov. Code. § 12940,

"It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or, except where based upon applicable security regulations established by the United States or the State of California:

(a) For an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status of any person, to refuse to hire or employ the person or to refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Retaliation is a major one also, but I couldn't formulate an educated guess on those matters.

This is in no way comprehensive just my first glimpse and vague recollection; I hope someone will be able to provide a more thorough and in-depth recital of law applicable in California maybe with case laws as well.

(I don't believe in unconditional love or unconditional hate; they arise from attributes of a person, and they typically don't arise from someone liking grey shirts over blue shirts.)


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