What if You Were Wrongfully Discharged From Your Job in California?
Have you ever been fired from your job? Many people have survived being fired and gone on to lead successful careers. Others, however, have lost their jobs and fall into a downward spiral of unemployment and despair. Losing your job can be devastating, especially if you never saw it coming and there is no obvious reason. If this has ever happened to you, the first thing you should ask yourself is, “Was I wrongfully terminated?”
California-based Davtyan Law Firm explains that wrongful termination happens when an employee is fired for reasons based on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistle-blowing, among others. In certain cases, it can also be considered “wrongful” if the employer fires an employee and does not give a reason at the time of the termination. If you feel that you may have been fired wrongfully, know that you can take legal actions to protect your rights. Here are five things to keep in mind when considering a claim for wrongful dismissal.
1. Limitations of “at-will” employment
The first thing you should know is that the majority of U.S. employees are considered “at-will” employees. This means that either party can terminate their employment at any time with or without a reason. However, you cannot be fired or forced to quit for reporting a violation of law or for exercising your legal rights. It is also illegal for an employer to fire an employee for personal reasons, such as being pregnant, having a disability, or belonging to a union.
2. Anti-discrimination in the workplace
Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees, especially in hiring or firing. Discrimination includes age over 40, gender, religion, race, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and veteran status. An employer who has fired an employee for discriminatory reasons may be liable to pay the employee monetary damages which typically include back pay, front pay, reinstatement, and related damages.
3. Contractual obligations
Many employers try to protect themselves from wrongful termination lawsuits by including special clauses within their employment contracts. If you and your former employer have signed a contract that outlines the terms of your agreement, there is a possibility that you may not be able to claim wrongful dismissal. However, if you can show that the employer has broken the terms of the contract, you may be able to use it as evidence that you were fired wrongfully.
4. Anti-retaliation laws
In California, employers are prohibited from firing employees who file complaints about unfair labor practices and other violations of law. This protection also applies to employees who support their co-workers in filing such complaints. It is also illegal to fire employees for refusing to do something that would violate the law, such as taking part in an unlawful scheme to cheat clients or customers.
5. Claims for wrongful termination
If you have been wrongfully discharged, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. You can file a wrongful termination claim against your former employer in court and may be entitled to back pay, compensation for unpaid wages and commissions, front pay, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and other related costs.
Filing a Wrongful Termination Case in California the Right Way
The first thing you should do if you think that you were wrongfully discharged from your job is to talk to a California employment attorney as soon as possible. This is the best course of action even if you are not entirely sure that your termination was illegal. In filing a wrongful dismissal case, your attorney will compile all the facts related to your case and prove that there was indeed wrongdoing on the part of your employer. If the case is proven to be strong, you may be able to receive financial compensation for all your losses.
Davtyan Law is a leading wrongful termination and employment rights firm in California. If you believe that you have been terminated from your job without any valid reason, contact Davtyan Law for a free consultation about your case.