At Fraigun Law, we have seen our fair share of wrongful termination cases. Thankfully, California has laws in place to help protect workers’ rights. These are the top 5 questions that our clients have regarding wrongful termination cases.
1) What Should I Do if My Contract Was Wrongly Terminated?
It is illegal to terminate someone for an illegal reason under California law. Sometimes, terminations can be unfair. Sometimes you are terminated by a supervisor who is cruel, unkind, or irrational. It is not always illegal to terminate you, no matter how wrong it was or how unfair it felt.
We spend a lot time trying to identify claims where the termination violated federal or California law. Once we identify the statute or statutes that were broken, we are able to show that the termination was wrongful. We will then file a claim for wrongful termination and violation public policy. This claim is often brought along with other claims under the California Labor Code. These include the Fair Employment Housing Act if you were terminated due to a protected class, conduct, or harassment based upon gender, race, and disability.
California law does not allow for lawsuits to be filed against terminations. Even wrongful terminations do not allow you to file a lawsuit. You should consult an attorney to determine if your termination was illegal.
2) Can I Sue My Employer for Wrongful Termination?
California has many statutes that protect employees. These statutes prevent employers from discriminating against employees or retaliating against them. It’s important that you realize that there are many protections.
Sometimes it is necessary to determine if something is illegal or just unfair. Even if you don’t think it was illegal, it is important to ask those questions. You may have rights you didn’t realize you had. They might have violated the law.
3) If I Was Fired, Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits?
California’s standard for whether you can file unemployment benefits is based on whether you have committed misconduct at work. This standard will be interpreted very narrowly. You are entitled to unemployment benefits even if your employment was terminated.
It is important to apply for unemployment even if you have been fired, particularly if it was for unlawful conduct. If you are going to file for unemployment, we encourage you to speak to an attorney. If you have an existing job and are scheduled for interview, it is a good idea to get advice from counsel about what to focus on. You may not believe you were terminated just because they tell you so.
4) Should I Look for Another Job During a Wrongful Termination Case?
We encourage everyone to apply for unemployment. Your employer may have fired you, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were wrongfully fired, your employer should not be allowed to terminate you and claim you aren’t entitled to unemployment.
Once you have filed for unemployment, you can start looking for work if you are able. Continue with your medical care if they terminate you while you are on medical leave. Take care of your health. Get healthy. Start looking for work once you are able to work or you have never been out due to medical reasons. You are required to search for work that is comparable. Similar work is work that pays the same wage, has similar benefits and is located in the same area. Although you don’t technically have to accept any job, my clients are eager to work and will look for work. While your case is still pending, find work and record the work you did.
If you’re able to find work, even if it’s not perfect or has fewer benefits, these are the solutions we’ll seek. At your previous job, you earned X, but now you earn a little less. The health benefits at your old job were different from the ones offered by this job. You searched for a job comparable to your old one for six months. You are entitled to this compensation for those six months.
If you are wrongfully terminated, there is an expectation that you will find similar work. To the extent that the work is not comparable, we will find you an attorney who will represent you. You might be able to find a better job or one with better benefits and a higher salary.
5) What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Termination Claim?
These damages are often categorized in wrongful termination cases. One, emotional distress. How did you feel after losing your job? How did the loss of your job impact your daily and monthly lives?
We ask the jury to pay you compensation for the sleepless nights, anger, frustration, and self-doubt that result from your emotional distress. Although it’s not clear what this is, we ask the jury for a dollar amount. This includes past and future emotional distress. Future emotional distress is the effect of termination on you or on your future.
We also ask for front and back wages, just like we do for emotional distress. The economic award basically states that you were previously entitled to X and now you are entitled to Y. You used to be able to get healthcare insurance or vacation. You may have found a better job, but it took six months to find the right job. You are entitled to the six-month wage loss. You’re entitled again to the emotional distress caused by not having that job for six months, and the uncertainty that resulted.
We may also seek punitive damages depending on the employer. This is an award that punishes the employer for repeating the same mistake. If we win at trial, we will also file a motion to recover attorneys’ fees. This basically states that the employer should pay these costs and that you shouldn’t have to. If you have been wrongfully terminated, and would like to talk about the damages available to you if you file a lawsuit, I am always willing to help you.
Call Our Trusted Employment Law Attorneys Today to Discuss Your Wrongful Termination Case
Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions? After reading these 5 common questions about wrongful termination, contact our experienced California wrongful termination attorneys at the Fraigun Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
We can help you get your life on track.