Did your employment get terminated? How did it happen? Your former employer could have plotted to fire you without warning, or perhaps there was an incident that happened a while ago that led you to start counting down the days. Either way, if your employer let you go for a reason that violates the law, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
Before jumping the gun and going after your employer, it’s important to understand that businesses are inherently protected in California. There is a presumption that employees are employed “at-will”. This means that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason so long as that reason does not violate the law or public policy. While this seems like an ironclad way for employers to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits, there are still instances where the law may have been broken.
Here are some items to look out for.
You Were Discriminated Against
Discrimination is illegal and is one of the public policy violations that often gives rise to a wrongful termination claim, even if you’re an at-will employee. You should seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you feel that your race, religious beliefs, gender, age, nationality, sexual orientation, pregnancy or disability played a role in your termination.
An Employment Contract Exists
If you received a written statement from your employer promising that you would be employed at a certain position for a specific amount of time you are likely not an at-will employee. If your employer breaches that contract by firing you within the specified term you may have a wrongful termination claim. Even if these employment promises were merely implied by your employer, there still might be a claim. Contact us if you feel that your employer breached your employment contract.
Your Employer Retaliated
If you refuse to do something illegal or report illegal conduct and are demoted or fired as a result, you likely have a strong claim for damages against your employer. This would also apply to situations where you report one of the incidents of public policy discussed above. Your employer can’t give you the boot for reporting actions such as sexual harassment and discrimination.
There are time constraints on bringing these types of claims. Therefore, it is vital to act quickly and have a trusted legal professional who understands the law review your potential claim immediately after the incident or incidents occur. If you believe that you were treated unfairly and were a victim of wrongful termination we encourage you to follow your intuition and tell your story as soon as possible.
Your success in a wrongful termination suit can prevent employers from further mistreating their employees and can encourage others like you to come forward and hold these employers accountable.
The Carter Law Firm specializes in discrimination and wrongful termination cases. Fill out the confidential contact form and get a consultation to find out if you have a case.