Do You Have a Legal Claim for Wrongful Termination in California?
On behalf of Rager Law Firm posted on August 30, 2018
If you were recently fired for exercising certain legal rights, for discriminatory reasons, or in violation of an employment contract, you may have a right to compensation based on wrongful termination. While employees in California work at will, meaning they can be fired with or without notice at any time, the state stipulates several reasons for termination that remain illegal. When an employer crosses one of those lines, it’s time to call a wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles.
Claims Based on Discrimination
You cannot be fired by an employer for any characteristic protected by state or federal law. Likewise, employers cannot use these characteristics to withhold promotions or deny employment. In California, color, religion, race, national origin, age, sex or pregnancy, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship or marital status, medical condition or HIV/AIDS status, veteran or military status, political activities and beliefs, and status as a domestic violence, assault or stalking victim are all legally covered.
If you were fired because you fall into one or more of these protected groups, you have a right to file a wrongful termination claim. If you prove your case, you may be entitled to lost wages and benefits, damages for emotional distress, and money to cover your court and attorney fees. You might even be able to get punitive damages.
Claims Based on Violation of Employment Contract
If your job is under contract and that contract promises you continued employment for a specific time period or limits the reasons why you can get fired, your employer must live up to that deal. If they fire you in violation of those terms, you can make a strong claim for wrongful termination against your employer.
Employment contracts come in many forms. They may be written or oral agreements, or may be based on a statement in the employee handbook. However your contract was created, you can sue your employer for benefits, wages, and any other compensation you should have received as an employee. A wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles can also use contracts as a negotiation point when working out a severance package with your employer.
Claims Based on Retaliation
You cannot be fired for trying to exercise your employment rights, such as filing a complaint against another employee for harassment or discrimination, or for taking medical or family leave. California offers many protections for employees. If your employer fires you for enforcing a legal right or making a legal complaint, you may have a claim against them.
While retaliation damages depend on which legal right was violated, employees can typically expect to recover lost benefits and wages, damages for emotional distress, attorney and court fees, and occasionally punitive damages as well.
If you think you were illegally fired, contact a wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles right away. In some cases, there’s a statute of limitations on how much time you have to take action. With so many legal theories on which to base a lawsuit, the attorneys at Rager Law Firm can help you sift through the evidence and decide what your strongest claim will be, so you can take the necessary steps to uphold your rights. Call us at 310-527-6994 for a free consultation today!