Employers often terminate employees for no reason, or they may have perfectly valid grounds, such as layoffs or to save money. However, there are many instances of wrongful and illegal firings, and our law firm, the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, will help you through the legal process and handle your claim for you. We believe that employers should be held responsible for their actions, and we seek to bring about effective changes in the workplace when we represent our clients. For more details, reach out to our wrongful termination attorneys in Lakewood.
Wrongful Termination Information
At-will employment means that employers can fire their employees at any time for any reason as long as the reason is not illegal. There are various reasons for a termination to be illegal, some of which can be found below:
- Retaliation and Whistle Blowing: Retaliation is the act of being targeted for something you did. You may have filed a complaint about sexual harassment, complained about missing bonuses, or spoke up against a policy that was illegal. Your employer could therefore get back at you by firing you, and he could easily claim that it was for some other reason. Whistle blowing is the act of alerting authorities or media outlets to any illicit or illegal activities at your workplace or in your job’s practices, and you cannot be legally terminated for doing so.
- Discrimination and Harassment: Discrimination and harassment can include a number of things, such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, religious discrimination, handicap and physical disability discrimination, age discrimination, and more. No matter what kind of discrimination, if you were fired for possessing a protected trait or quality, you can file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
- Breach of Contract: In order to get around at-ill employment and its risks, you may have signed a contract or an agreement that says that you cannot be fired for certain reasons. You may also have had a verbal agreement or implied promise with your boss. If your employer violated the contract, he could face legal consequences.
- Breach of Public Policy: You can go serve on a jury or go vote in any elections and not face discrimination or termination upon returning. It is your civil right to do so, and if your employer fires you for taking time off to fulfill this duty, you can sue.
- Leave Violation: Certain leave types are protected, such as public policy. You may also not be fired for taking medical leave, going on maternity or paternity leave, going on disability leave, and more.
Some of these violations are direct breaches of various Federal Acts. The Acts that directly apply to employment include:
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect workers based on sex, race, religion, and more
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to protect workers aged 40 and above
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to protect those who are disabled or handicapped
It is your right as a worker to not be fired for an illegal reason. Your employer must not violate any of these acts or he can be the target for your lawsuit. For more help, call our Lakewood wrongful termination attorneys today.
Proof Of A Wrongful Termination At Your Job
The best proof of being wrongfully terminated at your job is to have your employer admit that you were terminated for an illegal reason. He can say that he fired you because of your race or because you were pregnant. However, even if he does say this, if the conversation were private and only between you two, it can be extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to prove.
You may want to get various kinds of evidence that can show a pattern of behavior. For example, coworkers can provide statements and testimonies if your employer had previously discriminated against workers or had fired people for similar unlawful reasons. Coworkers may be hesitant to give you these testimonies, however, as they may fear losing their own jobs.
To establish a pattern of behavior, you should have a journal or notebook detailing all the harassment, discrimination, firings, discussions, and more. You can add corroborating evidence to this journal, such as witness statements, photos, videos, recordings, surveillance footage, and more.
As soon as you experience any hints of discrimination, you should go to your HR department to complain. They will likely log the complaint, but they may not do anything about it. This is why it is crucial that you send emails asking for updates, rehashing the details of the incident, and more. As long as you have an adequate paper trail, it will be hard for your company to say that you never brought anything up. This paper trail can also consist of emails and messages from your boss, clients, coworkers, CEOs, and more.
If you were wrongfully fired in breach of a contract, you should, of course, have a copy of the contract available. Similarly, if you were fired for taking leave, you should have proof that you filed for leave and that you were lawfully taking it (proof of voting or proof of medical leaves, for example).
Our law firm can hire expert witnesses and conduct our own investigation to get more evidence for your claim. Once we have everything to present, we will gladly move forward. Talk with our Lakewood wrongful termination attorneys for more assistance.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Compensation
A wrongful termination can cost you a lot of money. You may not be able to pay off certain debts and you may find it difficult to find a job once you have been laid off. You should be fairly compensated if your employer acted irrationally or illegally and terminated you from the company. Workers have rights and if yours were violated, the responsible party should bear the expenses.
We will strive to bring you ample compensation for your wrongful termination, such as:
- Lost income from your job, like money from benefits, missed commissions and tips, docked pay, missed vacation and sick pay, and more
- Future missed wages if you have trouble finding a job or if your position is not widely available
- Emotional pain and psychological suffering if you were particularly victimized, suffered discrimination, or else had to deal with anxiety, PTSD, fear, and more
- Punitive damages if your employer acted with gross negligence, intended to harm you, or condoned or permitted the harassment, discrimination, or wrongful firing to occur (punitive damages are additional forms of monetary
compensation that are meant to punish the defendant, but they are usually seen as too harsh or excessive by judges and juries – only a qualified lawyer will be able to win them for your case)
- Job reinstatement, which may be a viable option if you can switch branches or locations; however, many choose to forgo this option, as they may be placed right back in the atmosphere that fueled the discrimination and allowed the termination to happen in the first place, and if there were no changes to the work environment, the employee could potentially still feel unsafe or targeted
For more help figuring out what you can receive from an illegal firing claim, call our wrongful termination lawyers in Lakewood for assistance.
Deadline to Sue Your Employer for Wrongful Termination
The statute of limitations for a wrongful termination lawsuit is different based on the organization you use to investigate your claim. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a Federal organization that handles employment claims, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is a California-based organization. The EEOC’s rules and regulations are secondary to the DFEH’s, as State-run organizations take precedence over Federal.
The statute according to the EEOC is 180 days from the date of the termination, but according to the DFEH, it is 300 days. The DFEH will then conduct an investigation and determine if you have ample grounds to sue. They will then issue a right-to-sue letter, and you have one year from the date of the letter to take action against your employer. If you do not sue within this time frame, you will be unable to pursue compensation in the future for your wrongful termination.
It is also very important to understand that lawsuits against government entities have a drastically shortened time limit – you only have 45 days to file a claim. This can greatly confuse employees, and we recommend speaking with a lawyer for more assistance.
Not only will one of our Lakewood wrongful termination lawyers be able to pinpoint the amount of time you have left on your claim, we will also be able to file your lawsuit for you. We can also determine if you are eligible for any extensions to the lawsuit. The most common extension occurs when the defendant leaves the state or country, which causes the statute to freeze until he returns.
Don’t miss out on your chance at compensation because the time ran out on your claim. Talk with our wrongful termination lawyers in Lakewood today.
How Our Firm Helps You
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is one of the premier law firms in the business. We have decades of combined experience under our belts and we will always dedicate ourselves to our clients and their cases. We treat you like family and make sure that you are completely covered throughout the case. Our attorneys are empathetic and always available to listen to your concerns and to give you the answers you need. We are willing to go to court if necessary, and we will aggressively fight for your rights as a worker.
Contact our offices for a free legal consultation. All consultations are private – none of your personal information and case details will be shared elsewhere. You can ask us whatever you wish about your case and we will give you expert legal advice. If you choose to hire us to represent you, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee, which states that we won’t get paid unless and until we win your lawsuit. If we lose, you owe us no money whatsoever and can walk away.