People need jobs to survive and pay for their daily needs. Especially now that we’re experiencing a pandemic, we all put a lot of effort into performing well in our jobs so that we can avoid termination and increase our chance for promotion.
However, the actions of the higher officials will never be in the employee’s hands. Wrongful termination may happen unexpectedly. You could say that wrongful termination is against the law from the term itself.
Any employee fired with no valid ground can sue their employers for unfair labor practices. Different cities may have varying laws and coverages regarding labor and employment rights. It will be an advantage to know experienced employment lawyers in the state where you are working.
Los Angeles is known to be one of the busiest cities in California. The city is home to well-known companies in different industries such as entertainment, fashion, foreign exchange, engineering, and even some small start-up e-commerce. With this, labor cases are rampant in the area. Thankfully, legal firms like The Law Office of Omid Nosrati help in handling different labor cases such as wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination by definition
Wrongful termination happens when an employee is terminated without just or authorized causes. Aside from the said reason, it is also possible for wrongful termination to occur if there is a breach of contract or if the employer violated the federal anti-discrimination law. Anti-discrimination law covers employees terminated due to their gender, race, religion, or disability.
However, employment laws from different states may vary. Other aspects may add or be invalid as grounds in filing claims. At-will employment is what most state practices. It means that there will be no need for an employee or employer to file for a reason as to why they want to discontinue their working relationship. Termination, in this case, will be wrongful if they are working under a contract, covered by a bargaining agreement, or executed due to discrimination.
Examples of wrongful termination
Aside from breach of contract and discrimination, there are several other grounds for illegal termination.
It includes unwanted advances committed by the employer or any of its representatives against an employee who was turned down and thus, resulted in termination. This act is discriminatory and could bring an unsecured working environment to other employees.
If employees are fired because they filed a complaint against their employer’s illegal action or practice, this will also fall under wrongful termination.
Committing illegal activities
An employer can never insist on their employee to do illegal activities. If dismissed because of denying the task, the employees have the right to file a case against their imposing employer. A typical example of this is revising invoices or accounting books for financial gain.
Violation of employee’s rights
It occurs when the termination happens while the employee is advocating their rights. This usually occurs when the employee was fired while on bereavement or medical leave.
Unique types of wrongful termination cases
Reasons for wrongful termination are not always as clear as the above-stated grounds. There can be a mix of lawful and wrongful termination and intentionally making the workplace intolerable.
Mixed motive case
Mixed motive cases can be confusing since they involve valid and invalid reasons for terminating an employee. For an employee to win this case, they should prove that the basis of their employer was unlawful.
In this event, employers need to prove that the motivation for termination was legitimate and nondiscriminatory. If confirmed, the employee will not have any right to compensation or reinstatement. On the other hand, if a lawful reason, even in part, was proven, the employee may have a valid claim.
Technically, an employee cannot file for wrongful termination if they resigned. However, if it is proven that the resignation was due to the employer’s effective force, the employee can recover damages and be reinstated. In other terms, the employer made actions for the environment to be intolerable and later pushed the employee to quit.
This case can be hard to assess since it should not just be judged based on the employee’s point of view. Also, there is a need to prove that making the workplace intolerable was intentional.
Dealing with wrongful termination in California
Losing a job can be stressful, but if you know that you have the right to file a claim for wrongful termination, you must fight for it. To do so, it will be essential to note the following steps.
Document all events
Your termination might be something you have seen coming, and with that, you should start documenting everything that can help you in your claim.
You might not be able to film or record what happened during actual termination, but you do have the ability to write the details down. Make sure to do this right away to remember every detail clearly. Examples are unlikely words that were said, action made, and reason that your employee stated
Review your contract
If you are working under a contract, this will be your most powerful support. Make sure to read it through to know if your employer did violate what was agreed on in the contract.
Be calm and never get back to your employer
Anger might push you to do things to retaliate against your employer. However, this might be the reason to lose the case or be sued for illegal activities.
Contact a lawyer
It is vital to have a lawyer by your side. The best time to reach out is when you start feeling uncomfortable with your working environment. Though this can be immediate and unforeseen, you need to make sure that you seek legal advice immediately after being terminated. Most significantly, if you were fired for wrongful reasons.
File a claim or lawsuit
If you feel that you have a strong case and evidence on hand, you should likely file for a claim to get compensation for the damages you suffered.
This can be critical since the claim should be filed right away, and evidence and contracts should be reviewed properly. The employee should discuss this with their lawyer to ensure that all aspects had been viewed and the grounds for filing the claim are valid. If you are being wrongfully terminated, stay calm, know your rights, act smart, and contact a lawyer.