I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.
My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Unfortunately, what you describe is not illegal.As an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice (including a bad or false one).
This stems from employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, which states:
"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."
So even though they misinformed you about the reason for your termination, you don't have a cause of action against them for wrongful termination.
Also, nepotism is not illegal, and indeed, is the unfortunate reason why many people have good jobs and people who are better qualified are denied them.
If it’s any consolation, I strongly disagree with the law’s current lack of protections for at-will employees in this regards. And am especially sympathetic to your issue, since I was the victim of nepotism and favoritism in the past as well.
I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question.It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.
Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.
If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.
Thanks and best of luck!