Wrongful Termination Attorney
It is stressful to lose your job for any reason, but if you are the victim of
wrongful termination involving harassment, discrimination, or retaliation,
it is unlawful. Contact Lawyers for Justice, PC, if you have been illegally terminated,
fired, or laid off. We can help get you compensated for your losses.
Wrongful Termination Lawyers Serving California
As lawyers experienced in employment law, Lawyers for Justice, PC, has worked with many clients who have lost their jobs for unfair reasons. California is an “at-will” employment state, which means employers can fire workers for any reason, at any time, but that doesn’t mean every termination is legal. The law is rather complex. With legal representation, a skilled attorney will help determine if your termination is an exception to the at-will employment rule.
Examples of wrongful termination include firing an employee for refusing to break a law, taking medical leave, or taking time off for military service. Termination can be illegal if it violates an employment contract, public policy, or state/federal laws. At Lawyers for Justice, PC, we factor in all aspects of your claim and applicable laws and statutes when investigating your case. Our goal is to build the strongest defense possible to determine which laws were broken and the damages you may be entitled to.
At-Will Employment and Exceptions
At-will employment law essentially puts the needs of a business ahead of employees. But the reason for termination must be legal. As such, there are several exceptions to the employment-at-will rules, including:
- Termination for Discriminatory Reasons: Termination due to your age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or a disability or medical condition. If fired after you heard discriminatory comments by a manager or supervisor, reported an injury or pregnancy, or co-workers in the same protected category have faced similar action, you may have been terminated for a discriminatory reason. Evidence of discrimination also includes when older employees are laid off in disproportionate numbers.
- Termination for Retaliatory Reasons: Employees are protected and encouraged by state and federal laws to report wrongdoing. Therefore, firing someone for reporting discrimination, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, or labor code violations such as unpaid wages or misclassifying employees is considered retaliation. If you’re fired for requesting benefits you’re entitled to such as medical leave or overtime pay, this is also retaliatory. So is termination for reporting company violations to outside agencies or refusing to engage in an illegal activity.
- Termination in Breach of Contract: Employment contracts are typically formal documents, but information in emails and other communications can also imply the terms of a contract. A breach of contract may occur when the company agrees to hire an employee for a certain number of years, but terminates them before that term has expired. Even if an employer argues the termination was due to subpar performance, an employee can counter by saying they performed their duties as laid out in the contract. An employer’s justification can therefore be considered pretext, and a violation of an existing employment contract indeed took place.
- Constructive Termination: An employee who resigns rather than gets fired can claim constructive termination in some circumstances. California law recognizes situations in which working conditions are made so intolerable an employee has no other choice but to leave the company. Examples include demoting an employee, cutting back their hours or rate of pay, or failing to prevent harassment, which would leave the worker with little choice but to leave their job.
When Employers Violate Public Policy
Employers in California are forbidden from firing an employee who requires time off for jury duty, to vote, or serve in the armed forces. It is also illegal to fire someone because they were injured on the job and filed a workers’ compensation claim. Employees can also exercise their write to report illegal activity or unsafe conditions to, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as whistleblowing is a protected activity. If specified workplace safety regulations are violated, workers are free to report them while employers can face stiff penalties for retaliation.
What Steps Should I Take?
If you believe your employer engaged in discrimination, retaliation, or defamation that led to your dismissal, contact our wrongful termination lawyer right away. Quickly taking the right steps will protect your rights.
Make sure you have all relevant documents, such as your own account of incidents or events, termination notice, personnel file, performance reviews, pay stubs, employee policies and, if applicable, employment contracts, union contracts, emails, or internal memos. Your next step should be to contact a wrongful termination lawyer. A wrongful termination case can be complex and challenging, but an attorney can analyze your claim to build a strong case. They can even help file your complaint with the EEOC.
Damages for Wrongful Termination
A wrongful termination case is a civil lawsuit in which an employer is required to pay a plaintiff monetary damages. These damages can include:
- Lost Wages: Wages you would have earned had your employer not fired you, including overtime and other compensation. Compensation can be reduced by wages you earn after termination, but if you get hired at a lower pay, damages will equal the difference between what you eared before and your current salary.
- Lost Benefits: Compensation for the value of medical/dental insurance, a pension plan, stock options, retirement benefits, and other employment benefits you received while working for the company.
- Pain and Suffering: If you suffered emotional distress (such as depression or anxiety) due to your employer’s actions, as verified by a mental health professional, you may be eligible for monetary damages.
- Punitive Damages: Awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially severe, punitive damages are intended to punish employers for their actions and deter others from behaving in a similar manner.
- Attorney’s Fees: Depending on your case, you might recover attorney’s fees and other costs associated with the legal process, including court expenses.
Contact Lawyers for Justice Today for a Free Consultation
If you feel you’ve been illegally terminated, contact Lawyers for Justice, PC, and we’ll determine if your employer violated any federal or state laws. Our wrongful termination lawyers have represented clients in many types of cases. To get started, call (818) JUSTICE, 818-587-8423 and receive a free consultation, today!
YOUR BEST California EMPLOYMENT LAW FIRM
If you haven’t been paid the wages you deserve, have been harassed at work, or have been wrongfully terminated, we provide the legal advice and representation you need. At Lawyers for Justice, PC, our team understands every detail of state and federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers minimum wages, overtime pay, and recordkeeping. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages. Our attorneys have taken on the most complex of cases including mass torts and class action lawsuits involving California’s largest employers.
Why lawyers for justice
Lawyers for Justice, PC is a first class law firm, currently empowered by over 25 experienced attorneys, fighting for workers, consumers, and victims of wage-and-hour violations, unfair business practices, catastrophic injury, and consumer fraud. We have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of thousands of individuals.
We have been the strongest voice for California workers for over a decade. We never back down. We fight to defend your rights – and we play to win – because we believe half justice is an injustice. Let us help you take back what’s rightfully yours.
Lawyers for justice attorneys
Founder of Lawyers for Justice, PC, Edwin Aiwazian established the law firm to provide workers with a voice and platform to speak up and assert their own rights. He graduated Pepperdine University
Joanna Ghosh is a Senior Attorney at Lawyers for Justice, PC, and represents workers in class and complex wage-and-hour matters. She is a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association.
So What Are You Waiting For?
If you were unfairly laid off, you may still be owed compensation from your employer. For example, you could be owed unpaid wages or you may be entitled to compensation if your layoff was based on prohibited discrimination.