Wrongful Termination Statute of Limitations

Wrongful Termination Statute of Limitations

The loss of a job can put a tremendous burden on an employee and their family. A worker who was fired, laid off, or otherwise removed on unlawful grounds may have a legal claim for compensation. Wrongful termination cases are complicated—and you only have a limited amount of time to take action. At Fraigun Law Group, we are committed to protecting the rights of employees in Southern California. In this article, our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer provides a comprehensive guide to the wrongful termination statute of limitations in California.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The Statute of Limitations is a legal term that refers to the maximum amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit or file a charge against another person. The length of time varies depending on the type of civil case and is set by state laws. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to ensure that cases are brought to court in a timely manner while the evidence is still fresh. The statute of limitations for any particular claim depends on the specific cause of action.

What is a Wrongful Termination Claim?

Broadly speaking, wrongful termination is an unlawful firing. There are many different situations when being fired constitutes wrongful termination. That being said, a wrongful termination is not a synonym for an “unfair” termination. The reason for this is that California is an at-will employment state. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) states that an at-will employment relationship is one that either the employer or employee can end at any time and for any reason—except for an unlawful reason. If you believe that you or your family member was unlawfully terminated, an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney for immediate assistance.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination in California?

The statute of limitations for a wrongful termination claim in Los Angeles depends, in large part, on the specific cause of action. It is crucial that you know the deadline to bring your claim – but only a qualified employment attorney can tell you that. Here are some common causes of action in California California:

  • Breach of Implied Contract: Did you have an implied employment agreement with your former employer as defined by Cal. Civ. Code § 1621? Were you terminated in breach of the implied contract? You have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful termination claim.
  • Violation of Public Policy: In California, you may have a wrongful termination claim for a violation of public policy. Wrongful termination claims filed on public policy grounds are complicated. In effect, this type of claim means that California state law protects a worker from removal for the alleged reason that the removal occurred. For example, if an employee in Los Angeles was fired for declining to participate in an illegal activity, they may have a wrongful termination claim on the grounds of public policy.
  • FEHA Retaliation: The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a California state statute that protects employees against a wide range of discriminatory practices. A worker who was fired or laid off for discriminatory reasons in violation of FEHA has a right to bring a wrongful termination claim. Notably, FEHA protects many workers in California against retaliation. If you were terminated for engaging in a protected activity—such as reporting discrimination or reporting sexual harassment—you have the right to bring a claim for wrongful termination.
  • Violation of WARN Act: The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law that requires employers with 100 or more employees (excluding part-time workers) to give at least 60 calendar days’ advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment. There is a more strict statute of limitations for WARN Act violations.
  • Whistleblower Retaliation and Sarbanes-Oxley Act: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal law passed in the United States in 2002 in response to some high-profile corporate and accounting scandals, such as Enron and WorldCom. The law aims to improve financial reporting and corporate governance. Notably, the statute protects employees engaged in whistleblower activity. Do not wait to take action. You do not want to risk running into problems with the statute of limitations. Do you think you have a claim? Consult with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer as soon as possible after being terminated, laid off, or otherwise discharged by an employer.

An Overview of Types of Types of Claims in Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

Wrongful termination claims come in many different forms. If you are an employee taking legal action, it is crucial that you have a clear understanding of the basis of your claim. Here is an overview of some of the most common types of wrongful termination claims in Southern California:

  • Contractual Claims – Oral or Written: Contractual claims (breach of contract claims) in wrongful termination lawsuits refer to when an employee is terminated in violation of an employment contract, either oral or written. This can include being fired before the end of a fixed-term contract, or being fired in violation of the terms of an employment agreement. These claims can also arise when an employee is fired in violation of company policies or procedures. For example, if an employee is terminated without being given the required notice or without following the established process for disciplinary action, they may have a claim for breach of contract.
  • Personal Injury or Tort Claims: Personal injury or tort claims in wrongful termination lawsuits refer to when an employee is terminated in a way that causes them to suffer harm, such as emotional distress. For example, if an employee is fired in a public and humiliating manner, or if the termination causes them to suffer severe emotional distress, they may have a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Only a relatively small share of wrongful termination claims fit into this category.
  • Discrimination Claims: Discrimination claims in wrongful termination lawsuits refer to when an employee is terminated because of their race, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. These claims are typically brought under federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, or under similar state laws, such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). To prove discrimination, an employee must show that they were treated differently than similarly situated employees and that the discrimination was a determining factor in the termination. Additionally, an employee may also bring retaliation claims if they were terminated for reporting discrimination or participating in an investigation.

Know the Possible Deadline Extensions for Filing a Wrongful Termination Complaint

There are strict deadlines to file a wrongful termination complaint in California, and you do not want to miss one. In most circumstances, a missed deadline will mean losing your right to take legal action. However, there are some exceptions.

For example, if an employee is pursuing a claim under federal law, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, they must first file a complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. If the EEOC does not resolve the complaint, they will issue a “right to sue” letter, which gives the employee 90 days to file a lawsuit in court.

Alternatively, if an employee pursues a claim under state law, the deadline can also be extended if the employee can prove that they were prevented from filing the complaint because of certain factors such as the employer’s fraud, concealment, or mistake. Of course, whenever possible, employees should try to file a claim well before any applicable statute of limitations.

Why Do Some Employment Law Claims Require an Administrative Process Before Suing?

Many employment law claims, such as discrimination and retaliation, require an administrative process before suing because they are governed by federal laws that have been established to protect employees from certain types of workplace misconduct. These laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, provide employees with the right to file a complaint with an administrative agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), before pursuing a lawsuit in court. The purpose of this administrative process is to provide a less formal and less expensive way for employees to resolve their disputes with their employers and to give employers an opportunity to correct any violations of the law that may have occurred.

Additionally, by requiring an administrative process, it also helps to clear out any weak or meritless claims, which in turn can help the court system operate more efficiently. The administrative process also allows for a thorough investigation of the claims by the agency and may even lead to a settlement or resolution before the matter goes to court. Furthermore, it also serves as a notice to the employer of the specific claims and violations alleged by the employee, giving the employer an opportunity to take corrective action and avoid a lawsuit.

Why an Employee Should Hire Fraigun Law for Help With a Wrongful Termination Case

Navigating a wrongful termination claim is never easy. At Fraigun Law Group, our legal team goes above and beyond to ensure that the rights of our clients are protected every step of the way. We take a proactive approach to serving employees. Among other things, our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer is ready to:

  • Listen to your story and answer your questions about employment law;
  • Investigate your wrongful termination claim—gathering evidence;
  • Represent you in any settlement negotiations with your employer; and
  • Develop a comprehensive legal strategy to help you get justice and the best outcome.

The bottom line is that you do not have to navigate the legal law claims process alone. If you are wondering if it is the right time to sue for wrongful termination, an experienced Los Angeles employee rights attorney can be an invaluable resource. We are standing by, ready to provide personalized and solutions-driven legal representation.

Contact Our Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorney Today

At Fraigun Law Group, our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers are committed to pursuing justice for our clients. If you or your loved one was unlawfully fired, laid off, or otherwise discharged, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today to arrange your strictly confidential, no-obligation initial consultation. From our law office in Sherman Oaks, we handle wrongful termination claims in Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding region in Southern California.

 

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