Losing a job can be scary. Pilling bills and lost income can lead to stress and anxiety. Though termination happens, it can sometimes be unlawful. There are laws that protect employees from mistreatment and firing. Sometimes workers get laid off due to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Wrongful termination is any layoff that does not follow the law. An employer abuses their power if they terminate workers for illegal reasons.
If you experience wrongful termination in California, a lawyer can help obtain justice. Hire a top Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer to help claim your rightful compensation. At Fraigun Law Group, we believe workers deserve fair treatment and compensation at work.
Our lawyers know federal and state employment laws in California. We can help you recover lost wages, damages, and other benefits you enjoyed while at work. We will help you find supporting proof and develop an airtight legal claim that will guarantee compensation for your losses.
California Wrongful Termination Laws
Understanding the terms of employment in California is vital before you take any steps. Most employment terms are at-will in Los Angeles, CA. At-will means the employer can terminate your contract with or without a reason if they do not break the law.
Signing contracts that set a duration for your employees can affect the at-will agreement. If you sign a contract for some time, the employer may have an issue if they terminate your employment — violating contract terms. If the offer promises continuous employment, you can present your case in a court of law.
Some agreements are unwritten. This can happen if an employer does, says, or implies things. They are valid with an at-will contract. The contract can be hard to prove and may not hold up in a court of law.
The court makes a thorough examination when determining the verdict for such a case. They look at factors like positive reviews, frequency of job promotions, period of employment, assurance of continued employment, and whether the employer gave the employee a permanent employment promise. They may also consider whether the employer issued a termination notice.
Unfair Workplace Practices
These practices happen when an employer acts in bad faith, breaches the contract, or breaks the law during termination.
Some examples of wrongful termination in LA include:
- Terminating an older worker to employ a younger replacement that will work for less pay.
- Giving misleading information about salary increases and other better work opportunities.
- Taking employees to unfavorable places to work creates hardships that force them to quit their jobs and lose their severance pay or other benefits.
- Retaliating against an employee keeps them from collecting commission or any other payments they deserve.
- Misrepresenting facts about particular assignments that prevent employees from taking the offers.
When Employers Violate Public Policy
Employers are not allowed to violate public policy when firing workers. They cannot fire a worker for taking time off to vote, serve in the military, serve on a jury, or national guard, or if they file a personal injury case seeking compensation after a workplace accident.
Employees should not lose their jobs for flagging off bad practices at their workplace. Whistleblowers who report when a company is doing something illegal should get to keep their jobs. For instance, a worker can file a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if their work conditions are unsafe.
Wrongful terminations based on a violation of public policy have a two-year statute of limitations in Los Angeles, CA. Workers must utilize this small time window to file their complaints.
Employer Engaging in Defamation
Some employers may put in bad words for you, making it difficult to find and secure another job. In a defamation case, a worker should provide sufficient evidence that an employer gave a bad review or reference to curtail their efforts to find a new job. Additionally, there must be enough proof that the employer was malicious and gave the review in bad faith, or that it was deliberately untruthful.
They could write or give a misleading review to another party and cause harm through their actions. Such wrongful accusations may affect your chances of securing future jobs and opportunities.
When an Employer Discriminates or Retaliates
Under California law, at-will employees are safe from wrongful termination due to factors such as color, race, ethnicity, nationality, pregnancy, religion, gender, age, and disability. You can speak with a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim.
Under California law, an employer must not retaliate against workers who take action protected by the rule of law. A plaintiff must prove beyond reasonable doubt that they lost their job as a result of the direct actions of their employer.
They should also prove that they were doing something legal and were protected by California law. They can file a complaint with their Human Resources Department or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The proof must also include how retaliatory action affected their job through negative reviews, demotions, or salary decreases.
Workers need advice if they decide to take legal action against a company. Our wrongful termination lawyers in LA guide workers on where and how to file a legal complaint. If the case involves a breach of contract, one can file a complaint with the federal civil court. Discrimination cases are subject to oversight by the EEOC or any other state agency.
Here is the complaint process:
- The EEOC investigates the complaint. The EEOC must first verify your complaint. The agency has a self-assessment tool that you can use to gauge whether your complaint is with the proper handling agency.
- After filing paperwork, the court undertakes a discovery process. During the discovery process, both parties will provide legal documents for the case.
- A deposition will take place. A deposition is where teams ask each other questions regarding the case. They can also interview witnesses, if available.
- Out-of-court settlement. Many wrongful termination lawsuits settle out of court.
Steps to Follow After a Wrongful Termination
After losing your job wrongfully, you need to take certain steps towards getting justice. Here are some crucial points to keep close:
Do Not Waste Time
Time is of the essence when filing the case. The law in California gives you 21 days to consider your severance pay. It also gives you seven days to accept it or not. If you feel you were a victim of discrimination during the firing, you can seek help from an EEOC counselor. If you plan to file any charges, you must do so within 180 calendar days after termination.
Talk to a wrongful termination lawyer near Los Angeles for assistance filing your wrongful termination lawsuit.
Have documented proof like instances of discrimination, sexual harassment complaints, or anything else that may be relevant to the case. Also, have a part of the agreement.
Talk to a Lawyer
It is vital to have contact with an LA wrongful termination lawyer. Have and keep in touch with a lawyer to help and represent you in the court of law. A wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles knows employment law and can help obtain justice. Trying to do it alone may be difficult. Seek legal advice and know what to expect from your wrongful termination claim.
Avoid Social Media
Making posts online about discrimination or firing can work against you in court. Keep off social media conversations that may lead to discussions about the company or employer.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
The amount of compensation paid out in a wrongful termination claim depends on several factors like your earnings. Here are some types of compensation to expect
- Lost wages: Workers are entitled to wages they would have earned if they had not lost their jobs. This amount is money earned though not received by the worker.
- Lost benefits: Workers lose benefits such as dental insurance, pensions, stock options, and retirement benefits like 401Ks. You may receive compensation for such lost benefits.
- Pain and suffering: Sometimes, an employer’s actions can lead to mental health strife for the employee. In cases where a termination leads to stress and depression, a worker can sue for pain and suffering. A psychiatrist must verify the illness.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are available in wrongful termination lawsuits. Workers can obtain these awards in the most egregious cases. Punitive damages punish the employer as a lesson to others who may engage in such behavior.
- Attorney’s fees: Recover the amount of money you spend on attorneys. The court awards the worker compensation if they win the case.
Contact Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyers Today for Legal Guidance
Losing employment under unlawful circumstances should not get you down. Whatever the grounds for termination, you deserve justice and repayment. The law protects workers against exploitation and unfair treatment from their employers.
Filing a complaint after a wrongful termination can protect your rights and help you secure fair compensation. It also helps if your former employer gives bad references to other potential employers. Still, workers should not lose any employment benefits they are entitled to.
At Fraigun Law Group, our lawyers have years of experience dealing with employment cases like yours. Get started today by speaking to a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney about your legal options.