Every day, thousands of workers are fired. It can be confusing to some if they feel that they were in line with expectations and were performing well. In California, at-will employment can cause frustration – employers can terminate workers at any point in time for any reason, and workers can leave the jobs without warning, as well. The only stipulation is that the reason for the termination is not illegal. It can be hard to prove that a termination was illegal, though, especially if you do not see any warning signs ahead of time. If you were fired from your job and you suspect there was illegal play involved, you should contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group. Our lawyers have years of experience in employment law and know the best tactics for success with your claim. Call us today to speak with an expert team of Westlake Village wrongful termination lawyers.
Forms of Wrongful Termination
Employers generally try to cut corners and avoid punishment wherever they can. They do not like to be challenged by workers, and they feel like they can act with impunity. This is a troubling way to run businesses, and if you were targeted or affected at such a company, you may have a cause for legal action. Wrongful termination is one way in which they punish employees, but they may also behave in such a way to hide true biases and prejudices.
Ways in which wrongful termination can occur include:
- Breach of contract: This may happen if you have signed a contract with your employer. Although employment in California is at-will, which means that your employer can fire you at any point for any reason, you may still want to specifically write up an agreement. If you and your employer sign it, it is binding unless there is a violation. Common terms to write into the contract include the duration of it or of your work, the pay you can receive, the grounds on which you can be terminated, and more. If an employer breaks this contract, you can sue.
- Breach of public policy: It is public policy or a civic duty to go to court to serve on a jury or to vote in elections. You are legally allowed to take time off work to complete these and similar activities. You are not able to be fired during them, but some employers may use them as reasons and say that you should schedule a different time or reject the rights.
- Discrimination: Discrimination is by far the most common reason for wrongful termination. Many individuals do not know that they are being discriminated against, but careful attention and evaluation of the situation can reveal the employer’s true intentions. You may be discriminated against for any number of reasons that are protected under Federal and State laws.
- Retaliation: You could be retaliated against if you previously took some kind of action against the company. You may have requested a raise, pointed out an unsavory practice, filed a complaint against a boss, and more. Your employer could seek to take some kind of retaliatory action against you; this usually results in docked wages or reduced hours, but in extreme scenarios, it can result in termination.
- Whistle blowing: Whistle blowing is the act of alerting authorities, police, media, or others to the illegal occurrences or seedy dealings at a business. It can expose many individuals and potentially land employers in jail or result in the businesses paying hefty fines. If you do alert the news or cops to the happenings at your business, you cannot be fired for doing so.
- Violation of leave: There are various types of leave that you can take. You could be out on pregnancy or maternity leave, medical leave, disability leave, and more. These absent times cannot be used as a reason for termination; if you are fired during a leave, you can legally sue.
Individuals who have been wrongfully terminated should be sure to take appropriate legal action. It can be hard to identify if you have been illegally fired, and you may need legal assistance to determine the circumstances.
Laws of Termination and Discrimination
There are numerous Acts that protect individuals at work. These Acts include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents discrimination and termination based on sex, race, religion, and more; the Pregnancy Leave Act that prevents discrimination against pregnant and nursing women; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects workers over the age of 40 from being unfairly treated; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prevents disabled individuals from being fired for their conditions, or for having or requesting reasonable accommodations.
In addition to Federal Acts that outline protected classes, California has numerous protected classes itself. You cannot be fired for the following reasons in California:
- Sexual orientation
- Military or Veteran status
- Genetic information
- Marital Status
- Political affiliations or activities
- Status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking
- Gender identity and gender expression
- Medical conditions
If you find that you have been terminated for any of the above reasons, you have a solid foundation for your wrongful termination lawsuit. It is wise to consult with a lawyer to determine how to move forward with a claim.
Filing a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If you wish to sue your employer, you should complete the following steps:
Firstly, it pays to have a journal of any discrimination or mistreatment that happened at your job. It is beneficial to have this journal well before you are terminated, but some may not see a need to keep one. In lieu of a journal that you already kept, you should write out all the violations that happened to you that could contribute to the reason for a wrongful firing.
You should then contact coworkers or other witnesses to get their statements and testimonies on the firing. You may wish to reach out to other individuals who were fired or mistreated; their similar testimonies can benefit your claim.
It will be worthwhile if you can collect videos or recordings of your boss saying that you were fired for an illegal reason, but most will never vocalize that and will hide their true feelings. You can instead use statements to show a pattern of discriminatory behavior, or use the performances of others and other choices your boss made to show how you were singled out or targeted.
If you were fired for a violation of some sort, you should procure necessary evidence like the contract that was breached, a slip showing you went to jury duty, a voting slip, and more. It can illustrate that you were where you said you were or that you were adhering to the terms of the agreement.
Finally, it is important that you reach out to an attorney who has experience in wrongful termination lawsuits. You might not have the necessary legal knowledge to handle the claim and you might do more harm than good. It is in your best interest to get help from an attorney.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Compensation
You should be given fair compensation if you were a victim of a wrongful termination at your job. It can be hard to win a settlement, though, and our lawyers will strive to secure you the payment you deserve. We will fight for the following:
- Job reinstatement into your old position if you want to return to the company, but many individuals may pursue other opportunities or try to avoid going back because of the possibility of additional punishment or retaliation
- Reimbursement of lost wages and income from the time you were unemployed; these damages can be from the past and future
- Coverage for emotional pain and suffering if you were psychologically affected after the firing
- Punitive damages to cover gross negligence or intentional discrimination or mistreatment, which are additional types of payment; these damages are often viewed as severe or harsh, though, and many judges refuse to grant them in settlements
You should not rest until you are fully covered for damages. It is our goal to bring you the settlement you need.
Choosing the Best Firm in Town
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group has a team of aggressive lawyers that will always pursue the maximum compensation available to you under the law. We will not give up until we are satisfied with the result we bring. Our law office is known for its high level of victorious claims, and our highly rated lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for victims of wrongful termination.
Call us today if you want to schedule a free legal consultation with an attorney. We can talk about your case and what you can expect in the legal process. If you need to reach us at any time of the day, feel free to call us. We will always be available.
You should also be aware of our zero fee guarantee, which essentially states that you won’t be responsible for paying for the case. We will cover all the costs, and if we win, get paid a portion of the settlement amount. I we lose, we take no money, and you can walk away without owing our firm any money at all.
For experienced wrongful termination attorneys in Westlake Village, call the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today.