Breach of Contract
In general, breach of employment contract claims based on firing without good cause do not apply to most California employees as California employees are considered "at will" and do not usually have the right to continued employment. At will employment means that both the employee and the employer can end the employment relationship at any time for almost any reason except an illegal reason (e.g., because of the employee's race, age, disability, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or for whistleblowing). This means that an employer can terminate an employee for personality conflict, poor attitude, or simply for not liking the employee. Neither the employee nor the employer is required to provide the other with any notice to end the employment.
However, some employees have valid written or oral employment contracts with their employers. Generally, these agreements are for a specified term, and if an employee is terminated without good cause prior to the expiration of the contract term, the employee has a claim for breach of contract. If the employer violates other promises such as pay or benefits, the employee may also have a valid breach of contract claim. In California there are only certain things an employee can recover when suing for breach of contract. The employee can sue for his or her lost wages and benefits, and for the wages and benefits he or she would get in the future. An employee's recovery will be offset by what he or she has earned at a new job, and potentially offset by what he or she should have earned at a new job if the employer meets its burden of proof. An employee cannot sue for emotional distress or punitive damages on a breach of contract claim.