It can be stressful and traumatizing to lose your job in any circumstance. It is especially egregious if your job termination was illegal, unfair, or occurred in circumstances where you were discriminated against, harassed, or retaliated upon. Unlawful termination is a firing or layoff that results from violations of the law.
You may be eligible to receive compensation if you were wrongfully fired from your California job. The courts can enforce your rights under the federal and California employment laws. An experienced wrongful termination lawyer can help you fight for your rights and seek fair compensation for your losses.
You Need to Know What Wrongful Termination Legislations Are
First, you should ask yourself if the firing was legal. California's majority of employment is "at-will," meaning that an employee can be fired for any reason, no matter how minor, as long as it is legal. There are however some important exceptions to at-will employment.
How job contracts affect lawsuits
You are not considered an at-will employee if you have a written contract with your California employer setting out the terms of your employment and the contract's duration. You may, for example, have a job agreement that says you will be employed for a certain period of time. A letter of offer or another written document may be available that promises continued employment. You may be able to enforce such contracts in court if you have them.
Another exception to the at-will rule is an implied contractual. This is basically an agreement that is based on what your Los Angeles employer said or did. This type of wrongful terminating contract can be hard to prove. California courts consider many factors when determining whether an implied contractual relationship existed. These factors include your employment duration, job promotions frequency, positive performance reviews, assurances of continued employment, whether your employer gave notice of a layoff or firing; and whether or not you were guaranteed long-term or permanent employment upon your hiring.
What are unfair workplace practices?
Your California employer may have illegally fired you if they breached their duty, or acted in bad faith. Some ways termination can become wrongful termination are:
Intentionally misleading employees about the chances of promotion or salary increases.
To replace an older worker with someone younger who will work for a lower salary, you can lay off the worker.
Employees are forced to leave by being transferred to unfavorable locations or assignments. They do not receive severance pay and other benefits.
To trick employees into accepting a job or assignment, you can mislead them about the negative aspects of a job.
To stop an employee from receiving commissions or other payments, you can take adverse action.
When employers violate public policy
You may become a victim of wrongful termination because It is illegal to fire a worker for violating public policy. A California employer cannot fire an employee because they took time off to vote, serve on a jury, take time off to serve with the military or National Guard, or because the worker filed a workers' comp claim for an injury sustained on the job. Notifying authorities of illegal or wrongful activity at work is also a valid reason for employees not being fired. This is called "whistleblowing." You cannot, for example, be fired if you alert the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), about unsafe conditions at work.
Did My Employer Discriminate Or Retaliate?
There are several type of employees who are target of discrimination and wrongful termination, California companies cannot dismiss at-will employees based on discrimination. You must immediately contact a lawyer if you were terminated because you have protected characteristics like race, color or national origin, gender, religion, and age. Discrimination claims are subject to statutes of limitations and deadlines. Time is crucial.
Employers in Los Angeles are prohibited from retaliating towards workers who engage in legally protected activities. In workplace retaliation cases, plaintiffs must prove that their employer retaliated against them. Workers must prove that they engaged in an activity protected by California employment laws, such as filing a complaint to the human resources department or the Los Angeles Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Plaintiffs must also prove that the employer's retaliatory actions had adverse effects on their job, such as a salary decrease or demotion.
Was my employer involved in Defamation?
A defamation lawsuit was filed to protect your reputation in the community. You must prove that your California employer made false, malicious, or harmful statements about you to prove defamation. You must prove that your employer made false or inaccurate statements about you and that it did so with malice. This is a defamation lawsuit. Your employer must have communicated the false information to at least one person, either verbally or in writing. This could lead to job loss or prevent another employer from hiring.
You should take certain steps to ensure your rights if you feel you have been wrongfully fired from your California job. These are some key guidelines that will help.
It is important to be on time. Remember that you have 21 calendar days from the date you were fired to review any severance package your employer offered and seven days to withdraw your decision. You can consult an EEOC counselor if you feel you were fired because of discrimination for up to 45 days after the date that discrimination occurred. You must file a complaint or charge at the EEOC within 180 calendar days if you intend to do so. You can speak to an experienced lawyer who specializes in wrongful termination law about the different deadlines, including those for filing wrongful termination lawsuits.
All details should be documented is essential to have evidence to prove that you were wrongfully fired. These details can be documented in many different ways. You might choose to record incidents that demonstrate se×ual harassment or discrimination in your journal. It is important to note the time and date of the incidents, as well as the names and places of other people who were there.
Other documents are also important, such as your personnel file and termination notice, performance reviews and employee handbooks, policies, and union contracts. Pay stubs, copies of emails and direct messages, and copies of the email pay stubs are all examples. Note the names and contact information of any former colleagues who saw the harassment or discrimination, as they may be able to confirm your account.
Keep an eye out for a lawyer who can help you with wrongful termination. It is possible to wonder "What do I need to retain a wrongful termination lawyer?". Wrongful termination cases are complex and difficult to handle on your own. An experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer is required to evaluate your situation and provide advice. These types of lawyers will be familiar with the local and state laws regarding discrimination. California, Los Angeles, and other states have stricter laws regarding protecting employees.
Avoid social media. Do not post any information about your firing, job loss, or discriminatory treatment via social media. No matter how many safeguards you think you have, privacy online is very questionable. Our wrongful termination lawyers recommend that clients refrain from posting any information on social networks and, in some cases, even take down their profiles until the case is resolved. We know that your employer's attorneys will be looking through all of your social media accounts for any posts that could help their case. Even photos and videos that appear innocent can be altered and used against you. You can have anything you post online used against you in court.
What is the Complaint Process?
A California wrongful termination lawyer can help you determine when, where, and how to file the complaint. It will depend on the circumstances surrounding your termination. If your employer breaches your job contract, you will most likely file a lawsuit in a federal or state civil court. Wrongful termination claims resulting from discrimination can be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or an appropriate state agency.
The EEOC will investigate your claim. If your claim is found valid by the agency, you can take legal action against your employer. You can also use the EEOC's self-assessment tool to determine if you are eligible to file with them. Your lawyer will assist you in writing your complaint. The formal notice will be sent to your former employer. After the notice is served, it must then be filed with the court clerk.
After all, paperwork is filed, the actual litigation process can begin. The "discovery" phase is where each side must share any relevant documents with the other before a case can go to trial. The discovery process may include questions and answers, or the sharing of relevant documents that will be used during the trial.
The discovery process is also aided by depositions. Each side can interview the other and any witnesses. All deposed persons are required to swear the truth. The court reporter records the depositions and transcripts are made available to both attorneys during the trial.
Most cases of wrongful termination are settled out of court. Some cases might go to trial. Before signing any settlement or other type of agreement, you should consult your attorney for wrongful termination.
What is the price for wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination lawsuits are civil lawsuits in which the plaintiff asks the court to order the defendant (the employer) to pay monetary damages to you for your losses due to the job loss.
These are the damages that you can expect to receive in a case of wrongful termination.
Loss of wagesThe wages you would have earned if your employer fired you may be eligible to you. This includes any wages earned or unpaid, overtime, or other compensation that you earned but have not received. The amount you receive after your termination will be less if you are hired at a lower or the same rate of pay. You will still receive lost wages if you are hired at a lower salary than what you earn at your new job.
Lost benefits: The value of any lost employment benefits will be available to you. These benefits could include medical and dental insurance as well as pensions, stock options, and retirement benefits like 401k plans.
The pain and suffering of others: Also, you may be eligible for wrongful termination compensation for emotional distress. This is especially true if the employer has wronged the employee and the employee has experienced emotional distress which can be confirmed by a mental healthcare professional. These damages could be awarded to the plaintiff if the employee suffers from anxiety or depression after the job loss. This can be confirmed by the plaintiff's psychiatrist.
Punitive damages: These damages are in addition to compensatory. These damages are awarded in extreme cases. They are meant to punish the defendant and deter future similar behavior.
Attorney's fees you may be eligible to recover attorney's fees or other court costs in some cases of wrongful termination.