About 150,000 people are wrongfully terminated in the United States every year. Thankfully, California laws protect workers from being terminated for specific reasons. If you’ve been fired and you believe that your employer didn’t have the legal right to do so, you might be able to file a claim against them. However, determining whether you were wrongfully terminated can be complicated. Our Monterey County employment law attorneys have put together common signs that may indicate you were wrongfully terminated.
#1: Contract Violations
If you signed a contract that outlined the duties, responsibilities, and benefits of employment, then the employer must honor these terms. Typically, employees sign a written contract with their employer, but verbal agreements are also considered legally binding contracts. If your contract included an employment time frame and you were fired before that period, you may have a case against your employer for wrongful termination.
However, California is an “at-will” employment state, meaning employers can fire an employee whenever they want without having to provide you with a reason. There are some exceptions to “at-will employment,” such as firing after inducement, retaliatory discharge, and more.
#2: You Were Facing Work Discrimination
California employees have work discrimination laws that protect them, meaning that an employer cannot fire an employee because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or national origin. They also can’t fire a worker because of pregnancy or religion.
If you’ve been terminated and believe that it was for a discriminatory reason, you can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
#3: Your Employer Violated Public Policy
Your employer also can’t fire you if you take time off for jury duty or to vote. In addition, your employer can’t fire you for requesting family or medical leave. If you’ve been fired for whistle-blowing or reporting illegal actions your company committed, you can file a claim against your employer.
#4: Your Employer Retaliated Against You
If you did something that is legally protected in the workplace, your employer can’t retaliate against you by firing you. For example, if you file a harassment complaint or file a case with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), your employer can’t retaliate against you.
Employers also can’t retaliate against employees who participate in an investigation, lawsuit, or hearing regarding employer’s potentially illegal practices. For example, if you were asked to testify in a wrongful termination case for an employee, you can’t be fired for partaking in the investigations. Also, if you provide information to federal investigators regarding the company’s wage and hour violations, you can’t face retaliation.
Proving a Wrongful Termination Case
If you believe you were fired because of one of the reasons listed above, it is important that you gather all employment documents related to your situation. This can include employment handbooks, performance reviews, and your employment contract.
Regardless of the reason you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you will need to prove that your actions were under a protected class and that your employer didn’t have legal grounds to fire you. You will need an experienced attorney on your side who can help you prove that your termination was illegal and was due to discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, or violation of public policy.
Monterey County Employment Law Attorneys
If your employer wrongfully terminated you, you have state and federal laws that protect you. With the help of our experienced attorneys at Marder Employment Law, you can file a claim against your employer to receive compensation for your loss. Our Monterey County employment law attorneys have helped workers across the state who have lost their jobs after facing discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to help you obtain your desired outcome.
Get in touch with our Monterey County employment law attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a confidential consultation!