California Employment Law
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Unfortunately, as an at-will employee you can be terminated at any time for any reason (even a bad or false one) with or without any prior notice.
This stems from the employment at-will doctrine which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922 and states:
"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated atthe will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for aspecified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."
Also, unfortunately, as an at-will employer, your employer is not under any obligation to give you an opportunity to defend yourself, even if the allegations against you are baseless, or there is an explanation (that you didn't have the cash to give for one).
Even if your manager personally disliked you and 'had it in' for you, as long as he didn't do so due to a protected characteristic, you wouldn't have a cause of action for wrongful termination.
However, if you have any reason to suspect that your age was the actual reason for your termination, then I highly suggest that you file a complaint against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discrimination and wrongful termination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").
You can file a charge with the EEOC using the information available online here:
The EEOC will investigate your complaint on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim against your employer through a private attorney.
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