Too often, companies do not treat their employees properly at all, and they end up illegally targeting them or firing them for certain actions. Workers have specific rights that cannot be violated, and if a business does tread on those rights, the worker can take appropriate legal action and sue for damages. You should not let yourself be taken advantage of by a business, no matter how big or small the company is. There are options for you to move forward and fight the discrimination or wrongful actions. Our team of Woodland wrongful termination lawyers at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can ensure that you are appropriately compensated and that you do not lose out on any living expenses because of your treatment at a job.
Protected Classes in Employment
According to the law, certain classes of individuals cannot be targeted or discriminated against in the workplace. These traits generally do not impact working abilities or they are not factors in whether or not a person can complete a job’s responsibilities. They may require reasonable accommodations, which can be granted provided they are not a burden on the company or coworkers. You cannot be terminated for the following traits:
- Sex, whether being a man or a woman
- Race, no matter the color or nation of origin
- Age, as individuals over the age of 40 are protected
- Religion, as worship choices and certain articles of clothing are protected
- Pregnancy, as you are entitled to maternity leave (and paternity leave)
- Disability, such as being in a wheelchair, having certain illnesses, and more
- Citizenship, such as whether or not you are a U.S. citizen
- Medical conditions
- Military or veteran status, or if you have served in any military branch
- Political affiliation, whether Democrat, Republican, and more
- Victimhood, such as in cases of domestic violence or assault
The latter classes are protected only in California at a state level. Therefore, individuals have more manners in which they can sue if they are discriminated against.
Bear in mind, though, that your company cannot fire you for other reasons beside protected classes. For instance, you could file a wrongful termination claim if you are let go for the following:
- Retaliation or whistleblowing, which occurs when the company takes action against you for a specific reason, such as filing a sexual harassment complaint or alerting authorities to the presence of illegal occurrences at the company
- Breach of public policy, which can occur if you are terminated for going to jury duty or for voting
- Breach of contract, which happens when your employer violates a contract or agreement you had, whether verbal or written; it may be related to your wages, duration of employment, and more
- Leave or absence violation, which occurs when you are fired during medical leave, pregnancy leave, maternity leave, and more
You should know what your rights are and what you can legally be terminated for. If you are fired for a bad job performance or customer interaction, it is perfectly acceptable, given that California employment is at-will – meaning you can be fired for any reason at any time. You can also leave the job for the same reason. If you have suspicion that the termination was for an illegal reason, you can fight back and file a claim against your employer.
You should be aware of what Federal and State Acts are violated. The protected classes were listed in various laws, including the following:
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act
If you need legal assistance, feel free to call our law firm for help moving forward.
Gathering Evidence for Your Wrongful Termination Claim
If you were wrongfully terminated at your job, it is important that you get enough evidence to prove that your boss acted illegally. This evidence can be hard to acquire if you were already terminated, and you may not think to collect any if you were still employed.
It is important that you have some history of the discrimination if it occurred. This can be present in notes regarding statements that were made, or even statements from other coworkers who were discriminated against. For instance, if your coworker went on pregnancy leave and came back to mistreatment, you could add it to your file. The benefit is that coworkers and other individuals can also back up your claim.
You should make sure to go to Human Resources if you feel that your job may be in jeopardy and you may be illegally fired. They may not take you seriously, though, and may tell you to simply resolve the issue yourself. You should be sure to keep a copy of the interaction if it were in an email, or ask for a statement that says that you went to HR for the issue.
You may be able to get pictures, videos, and other physical proof that there was discrimination or a wrongful termination that happened. This can include emails, text message, security footage showing exchanges, and more. Additional evidence can be a contract that was breached, your voting slip, medical documents showing you were at the hospital, a statement from a judge when you were on jury duty, and more.
Once you have collected as much evidence as possible, you should contact a skilled lawyer with experience in wrongful termination claims. It will be to your benefit to hire someone who has been in the same situation handling claims before. You might not have any legal experience and you may not know how to proceed or ensure that your case will get reviewed or move beyond the investigation. Our skilled Woodland wrongful termination attorneys will assemble your evidence and submit it to the necessary party.
Compensation from a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Wrongful termination lawsuits can net the victims a lot of money. You should be given appropriate payment if you were targeted or if you were mistreated. We will see to it that you are given the maximum compensation for the occurrence, including the following:
- Lost wages from your job from the past and future if you were not able to earn any bonuses or secure another position
- Emotional anguish stemming from the unfortunate situation or the mistreatment you suffered
- Reinstatement into your former position if you so choose to accept it, but some people avoid it because it can open the door for additional harassment
- Punitive damages if your employer acted with gross negligence or committed a hate crime, condoned or provoked harassment, and more (punitive damages are additional types of monetary compensation that are meant to punish the defendant, but they are rarely handed out and are considered excessive or unnecessary)
For the best chance at earning the maximum compensation available for your claim, you should reach out to our lawyers for assistance. It is only fair that you are given the payment you deserve if you were wrongfully terminated.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Termination Claims
If you intend to file a lawsuit for a wrongful termination occurrence, you should be aware that you must sue within a certain time frame or your case will be thrown out. If there is a State entity that handles employment claims, then you have 300 days from the date of the occurrence. In California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) exists, so it supersedes the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which would allow 180 days to sue.
The company will review your claim and conduct an investigation. If it decides that you have enough evidence to file a lawsuit, it will issue you a right to sue letter. You then have a year from the date of the letter to take legal action. Further, you should be aware that claims against government entities are shortened – you only have 45 days to file a lawsuit if you plan on suing the city, state, or other government corporation.
Too often, individuals do not get to file their lawsuits because they miss out on the statue of limitations. You should ensure that you have enough time to sue by coming to our firm for assistance.
How We Help You
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group has years of experience handling lawsuits that deal with wrongful termination. We have recovered millions for our clients and we know the best methods for success. We believe in equal opportunities for everyone, and if there is discrimination or harassment present at your workplace, we will do our part to end it and bring about a positive change. Our lawyers are aggressive in our pursuit of our goals and empathetic to our clients. We are willing to go to court if necessary.
For a free legal consultation, call our firm today and ask us questions about your case. We will tell you what we believe your case is worth and how we will go about it. We will also tell you more about our zero fee guarantee, which says that you won’t have to spend a dime of your own money on the case. We will cover all the costs ourselves, and if we lose, we won’t take anything whatsoever.