Many individuals are targeted by their employers and suffer consequences that could limit their employment options and choke their wages. It’s not uncommon for workers to suffer through such discrimination and mistreatment in silence, usually because they need the jobs and any action they take could lead to retaliation. Employees may not always know that these retaliatory actions are illegal, though – especially if the end result is termination. Workplace discrimination is one of the most problematic occurrences at work; if you have been unfairly targeted and fired for a reason you believe to be illegal, you should pursue legal action. Our Glendale workplace retaliation lawyers at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can make sure that you are fairly represented and get to the bottom of your case. If you have been mistreated and wrongfully terminated by your employer, we promise to secure you the compensation you deserve.
What Protections Do I Have As An Employee?
In California, at-will employment allows workers to be terminated at any time for any reason, provided that reason is lawful. The same is true for the inverse – workers may leave employment at any time for any reason. At-will employment changes when contracts are involved or when there are promises made, whether implied or written.
As an employee, you cannot be fired for various traits or qualities. A few of the laws protecting you include:
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, nation of origin, sex, religion, and more; it was amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which helps mothers and pregnant women from suffering discrimination
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which helps workers over the age of 40 deal with discrimination
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which sets rules and guidelines for those who have handicaps and disabilities and prevents them from being targeted in the workplace
If you are unsure if you are protected in any other way, reach out to one of our workplace retaliation lawyers in Glendale. California has additional protections of workers that other states may not, and if you were targeted, we can help you.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. Retaliation can include any negative job action, such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment. But retaliation can also be more subtle.
What Are Common Forms Of workplace retaliation?
Employers may try to terminate you and stay within the lines of legality, but if they are discriminating, it is hard to do so. Instead, they will mask their true intentions and claim that you are being fired for another reason, such as downsizing or because your job position is simply unnecessary. It helps to see beyond these reasons or try to discern if there is something more going on. You may discover that you were terminated in one of the following ways:
- Retaliation for a complaint you brought up or a desire you voiced
- Discrimination for being a minority of some kind
- Disability if you had some kind of physical or mental difference, especially if the employer denied you reasonable accommodations or did not offer them in the first place
- Fired while on sick leave, which is a violation of your time off
- Violation of public policy, which can happen if you are terminated because you took time off to vote or serve on jury duty
- Whistle blowing or alerting authorities, media outlets, higher-ups, or other parties to some kind of wrongdoing at the company
It can be confusing to be terminated and not know why. If you do a little bit of digging, you may determine that you were unlawfully fired. Our team of workplace retaliation attorneys in Glendale can help you take the legal action you need to move forward with a claim and strike back against your employer.
How Can I Prove I Was Wrongfully Terminated?
If you want to prove that you were wrongfully terminated, you will need ample evidence showing reason for the termination. If your boss simply claimed that you were being let go and there was nothing else he could discuss, it could be hard to prove his intent. If he outright stated it was because you took time off to vote, for example, you would have a better chance than if he were quiet. However, there are some forms of evidence that may be left around that you can gather, especially if there was a history of mistreatment or discrimination at play. You may find the following useful in your claim:
- Emails, text messages, written notes, and more from your boss, manager, supervisor, or Human Resources that call attention to any discrimination or possibility of termination
- Testimony from coworkers that you were illegally fired or targeted during your tenure at the company
- Evidence of previous terminations in similar situations; for example, if minorities are routinely offered contracts and then terminated for similar reasons
- Recordings from surveillance cameras or cell phones that prove that your boss intended to fire you or was discussing how to terminate you
- Evidence of a decline in your pay, hours, commissions, and more
- Contracts or agreements that were violated or broken by your boss or manager
With this evidence, you will be adequately prepared with your workplace retaliation claim. Contact our workplace retaliation lawyers in Glendale for more help.
What Kind Of Compensation Can I Receive From A Workplace Retaliation Claim?
A workplace retaliation claim can net you different types of compensation for your damages. Our attorneys will make sure you’re fairly treated and not given a low or unrealistic amount of money. The incident of a workplace retaliation could result in you missing a large amount of money, especially if your employer withheld your wages after terminating you.
You can have these wages reimbursed. Often, employees can receive commission, bonuses, holiday and sick pay, vacation pay, and the remainder of their checks if they were wrongfully terminated. The employer will try to keep as many of these as possible, but if you are rightfully owed the earnings, we will strive to secure them for you.
Further, we will strive to bring you compensation for your pain and suffering, or the emotional suffering you underwent. The mental trauma can be very severe – although you may not have sustained any physical injuries, you could be left with psychological scarring, anxiety, fear, and PTSD from the entire situation. Many individuals develop problems that may hinder their future capabilities of employment and may not have any closure.
Punitive damages are also available, but they are only handed out in certain cases. These damages are usually given out when your employer behaves extremely negligently, such as in instances of intense discrimination. The trouble with these damages is that they are usually viewed as excessive, and as such, they are seldom awarded. You will need a qualified attorney with ample experience in workplace retaliation cases to secure you these punitive damages.
If you want to learn more about the value of your claim and what you could possibly earn, reach out to our Glendale workplace retaliation lawyers. We will help you understand how such cases are valued and what we may be able to earn for you.
How Much Time Do I Have To File A Workplace Retaliation Lawsuit Against My Employer?
In California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) takes precedence over the federally-run EEOC. You thus can adhere to the statutes put forth by the DFEH first. This means that you have 300 days from the date of the termination to file a charge with the DFEH, who will then investigate your claim. Upon receiving a right to sue letter from the department, you will have 1 year to file a lawsuit against your previous employer.
These state laws take precedence over federal laws; if there were no DFEH or similar entity present, you would only have 180 days to file a charge and 90 days thereafter to file a claim.
It is important to understand, though, there are other statutes that must be adhered to. For example, the amount of time you have to file a claim for a violation of public policy is doubled, and if you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, the statute is drastically reduced – often to a matter of weeks.
If the defendant left the state, your statute would be put on hold until he returned. There are a few ways for the time limit to be temporarily frozen; you can speak with an attorney for more details on those circumstances. If you are uncertain of how much time you have left to sue or if you are worried that you missed a deadline, contact our Glendale workplace retaliation lawyers for more assistance. We’ll gladly file your claim for you and ensure that all of your necessary documents and submissions are on time.
How We Help
You should hire a skilled workplace retaliation lawyer to handle your case if you do not have any legal experience. Our law firm, the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, has a team of expert workplace retaliation lawyers who have been handling such cases for decades. We know the best ways to win your lawsuit and we have an expansive knowledge of the law and previous cases that will work in our favor. You can rest assured that we will aggressively strive to secure your compensation and we will fight for your rights from start to finish, whether that includes going to court or not.
Contact our firm for a free legal consultation. Our consultations are private – none of your details will be shared with anyone. We are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask us.
By choosing us to represent you, you also ensure that your personal savings will never be touched throughout the lawsuit. We will cover the legal costs and we will only be paid if we win – if we lose, we take nothing whatsoever. Your finances are important to us, and we will not charge you a dime outright. The insurance company and your employer will take care of our fees if we’re victorious.