When you’ve been let go from a job, you face a lot of questions about your future. Those questions only increase if your job loss was the result of an unlawful action by your employer. Wrongful termination refers to when an individual is fired or laid off in violation of the law. If you’ve lost your job because of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or another illegal circumstance, the Orange County wrongful termination attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm can help you determine your next legal step. California and federal laws protect employees from being fired for unjust reasons, and provide legal recourse for those who have suffered financially as a result of their job losses. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, it is important to contact one of the knowledgeable employment law lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm as soon as possible to find out more about your legal rights.Wrongful Termination Under California Law
In California, most employees are classified as ‘at-will,’ which allows employers to let them go at any time, for any or no reason. However, that reason, or lack of one, still must be legal, and some exceptions do apply to at-will employment. Written contracts detailing an employee’s terms of employment as well as duration are enforceable in court and cannot just be breached at an employer’s discretion. Implied employment contracts, although more difficult to establish, also must be adhered to. If you are unsure about whether the circumstances surrounding your job loss qualify as an unlawful firing, an experienced wrongful termination attorney in Southern California can assist you in identifying whether illegal action was taken.
California employers may not breach their duty to act in good faith by engaging in unfair workplace practices when firing an employee. Bad faith actions that constitute a wrongful termination may include: transfers to undesirable locations with intent to force an employee to quit so that severance or benefits can be denied; replacing an older employee with a younger one willing to work for lower wages; misleading employees about promotion opportunities or preventing them from collecting owed payments.
It is also illegal to fire employees based on discrimination. Examples of discrimination include termination of an employee based on the following:
- National origin
If an employee is wrongfully terminated, there are certain important timeframes to consider. When a discriminatory basis is present, a former employee needs to exhaust administrative proceedings within a certain period of time or else the claim will be lost. Different deadlines may apply for different situations, which is why consulting a local Orange County wrongful termination lawyer is vital to making sure your claim is handled properly.
In California, employers may not violate public policy when terminating an employee. As such, it is unlawful to fire an employee if they have taken time off work to serve on a jury or vote. Employees are also not to be let go if they file a workers’ compensation claim for job-related injuries, or if they notify authorities regarding unsafe or wrongful activity in the workplace. If successful in a wrongful termination case, plaintiffs can recover monetary damages for their losses. This compensation may include lost wages or lost benefits that an employee had been entitled to. A wrongfully terminated worker may also be awarded pain and suffering damages based on emotional distress, and, in the most egregious situations, punitive damages may even be appropriate.Employment Law Lawyers Serving Southern California
The Serendib Law Firm is committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been let go from their jobs under unlawful conditions. Our wrongful termination attorneys assist clients across Southern California, including Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. If you’ve been fired from your job and need legal assistance, please contact us by phone at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or online to consult with an attorney today.