In California, most employment positions are considered to be “at-will.” In other words, an employer may fire an employee for any reason or for no reason at all. However, an employer may not fire an employee for a discriminatory reason or for other reasons prohibited by state and federal laws.
If an employer fires an employee illegally, it is considered wrongful termination and that employee may seek financial damages from the employer.
Contact Limonjyan Law Group today for a free consultation with a dedicated wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles. We serve the greater Los Angeles area.
Situations Where an Employee May Be Unlawfully Terminated
There are a number of situations that may give rise to a wrongful termination claim:
- If an employee is the victim of discrimination and is fired for reporting the discrimination, or if the firing is the end result of discrimination, it may be possible to make a case for wrongful termination.
- If an employee is fired after reporting an illegal act undertaken by the employer or for engaging in other activities protected by whistleblower laws, it is likely wrongful termination.
- “Constructive discharge” can occur when an employee has no choice but to quit his or her job because the employer has made working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable person would have also quit if forced to face these conditions.
Because California is an at-will employment state, it can be difficult to prove cases of wrongful termination. That is why it is important to have a skilled legal advocate in your corner. At Limonjyan Law Group, we provide services in English, Spanish, Russian, and Armenian.
Wrongful Termination Checklist
Determining if your termination qualifies as unlawful can be challenging and knowing what comes next can be even trickier. Being fired based on your race, age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, pregnancy or disability would be labeled as wrongful termination.
Getting fired because you spoke out about labor laws such as safety regulations, meal breaks, rest breaks, and overtime also falls under the scope of wrongful termination.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you have a valid wrongful termination claim:
- Do you have any supporting evidence that shows you were discriminated against?
- Were there other people of your same race, gender, etc. that were also targeted in a recent layoff?
- Is everyone who is of similar race, gender, etc. all treated differently by the ones you report to?
- Has there been any favoritism toward a group of employees from a manager?
- Have you been a victim of offensive or insulting comments from your employer?
- Have you witnessed unwelcome romantic or sexual advances from your employer?
- Did you file any complaints or reports against your company before you were terminated?
- If so, did you receive any backlash from your employer?
- Does your employment contract state a reason why your employer fired you?
- Was there a company handbook that went over topics like termination?
- Was there any verbal promises made to you that secured your job?
If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a case against your employer.