Many people go to work each day in California and fail to realize how quickly their employment could come to an end. Many jobs are considered at-will employment, which means that neither the company or the employee has to give reason to end the contract. Despite this, employees still cannot be wrongfully terminated. What is wrongful termination? This is when an employee is relieved of their duties for the wrong, or illegal, reasons. Our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney would like to discuss how you can tell if you’ve been wrongfully terminated in today’s post.
Fired Based on Discrimination
One of the most common signs that an employee has been fired from their job wrongfully is when they’ve been fired based on discrimination. The federal laws for employment protect employees when it comes to certain characteristics. These characteristics include race, age, sex, disability, pregnancy, religion, ethnicity, gender and national origin. This means that employers cannot fire an employee for any of these reasons, which would wind up being labeled as discriminatory.
Violation of a Contract
If you have put pen to paper with your employer then the company is required to follow the terms of that contract. The only way the contract can be changed or ended is if both parties mutually agree on the new terms or if the employee violates the contract, leading to their dismissal. A company cannot simply fire an employee without cause if there is a written contract signed and in the employee’s personnel file.
Fired Using Protected Time Off
Employees are also allowed to take time off from their job using the time that is protected by laws enacted at the federal level. One such law is the Family and Medical Leave Act. This piece of legislation protects employees from being fired if they take time off to care for a sick family member, themselves, or to have a baby. The law also protects members of the military who are called into active duty. Employees also cannot be fired for voting in an election or serving on a jury.
If you blew the whistle on an illegal act being committed by your company or another employee and you were then fired, you have been wrongfully terminated. There are laws in place that protect whistleblowers from retaliation. Blowing the whistle on illegal or unethical practices by your employers should not cost you your job.
Failure to Follow Policy
If you have a job that follows at-will laws, you still cannot be fired if the company failed to follow the policies and procedures in place for terminating an employee. If these policies are in writing at your place of employment then the employer must follow them before relieving you of your duties. For example, if there is a policy in place about no-call, no-show, it must be followed before an employee can be fired.
An experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will be able to answer all of your questions about losing your job. Contact the office of JML Law, A Professional Law Corporation, to schedule a consultation today.