The experience of being terminated from a job can happen to anyone, even to the most qualified candidates. Yet many employees don’t know that employers often do things that may expose themselves to a wrongful termination lawsuit. It is important you understand your options when filing a wrongful discharge claim. Only an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case.
Employment at will
California is an at-will state, which means your employer can fire you anytime for any reason or even without reason. However, there are some instances where the employer violates anti-discrimination laws, which may serve as a good foundation for your case. Also, if your employer retaliates against you for exposing illegal activities during the course of your employment, you can also hire an attorney to defend your interests.
Employers can’t discriminate or take negative actions against an employee based on protected characteristics such as gender, race, age, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, and pregnancy. There are laws that explicitly prohibit any retaliation or adverse action against employees in this category.
If you signed a contract, your employer should honor the terms. Even when there are no contracts, verbal promises are also supposed to be honored. For example, if you are under a contract for a few months and the contract states that you will be assigned certain tasks during the course of your employment yet your employer terminates you before the time specified in your contract, you will be able to file a wrongful termination claim and also a breach of contract claim.
Federal and state laws protect employees in California from any type of harassment, including wrongful termination. Employees can also seek protection from being terminated due to whistleblowing. Whistleblowers are those employees who report illegal activity in the workplace and may experience retaliation as a result of their actions. Whether you report financial fraud or any other type of fraud, some laws explicitly protect employees from this type of scenario. Likewise, employers can’t request their employees to perform illegal acts.
The Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees who need to care for a family member who is sick or disabled. The law also protects employees who need to care for immediate military family. Employees can’t be fired or retaliated against for taking time off to serve on a jury or to vote. Also, employees can’t get fired on maternity leave.
Losing your job is an unfortunate experience nobody should go through. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, seek the advice of an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney. If you have any questions regarding the nature of your claim or would like to find out whether or not you have a case, contact us today and schedule your initial case evaluation.