Seek Justice for the Wrongs against You
You have probably heard the expression that California is an “at-will” state. Employers routinely terminate employees for an unlawful reason claiming that the termination is justified because California is an “at will” state. Most people believe this means that you can be fired for any reason whatsoever. This is not true. You cannot be fired for any unlawful reason and you should speak with an employment attorney to analyze your case.
You may have been wrongfully terminated if:
- the real reason you were fired is discrimination, retaliation or some other illegal reason
- you were fired in breach of an employment agreement or contract
- if there is an underlying violation of any statute or law
Even if you were not fired, you may still have a case if you were demoted or forced to resign for an illegal reason.
Wrongful termination may happen when you are fired or forced to resign within 6 months AFTER:
- you complain about sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation
- you return from a medical leave or ask for approval to take a medical leave
- you return from a pregnancy leave or request to take a pregnancy leave
- after you ask for a job modification to accommodate an injury
- after you get injured
- after you complain regarding unfair treatment
- after you complain regarding unpaid overtime or interrupted meal or rest breaks
- after you are harassed by your supervisor, co-worker, or customer
- after you refuse to do something illegal
In other instances, you may have a case for wrongful termination if you are fired after you refuse to commit an illegal act or cover unlawful conduct by your employer. Scenarios where employers try to force employees to do illegal or unlawful duties may include the following:
You are a nurse or other licensed professional ordered to falsify documents to pass a governmental audit. You refuse. In retaliation for your refusal, your employer writes you up, gives warnings and then fires you.
You are a HR representative and are told to ignore illegal acts by other employees. You refuse, and again, are fired.
You are a delivery person working for one restaurant as an independent contractor. You ask to receive the same treatment and benefits as employees because you believe you are misclassified. Your request is refused and you are fired in retaliation.
You are pregnant or have a disability and need more rest breaks or other accommodations. You ask for light duty or more breaks but are refused and get fired.
Although employees are protected from wrongful termination by California law, sometimes employees can be taken advantage of because they are unfamiliar with the specifics of the law. Some terminated employees may not be certain that the circumstances leading to their termination were “wrongful.” Wrongful termination can take place in many different situations and on many different grounds.
If you think you may have been fired illegally, discuss your case with our Orange County employment lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Solmer is a highly accomplished lawyer who is passionate about restoring the rights of her clients and ensuring that they are treated fairly.
What Defines Wrongful Termination?
There is no one particular ingredient that leads to a wrongful termination case. Rather, it is a combination of factual circumstances that together lead to a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination or wrongful constructive termination often arises from retaliation or unfair treatment due to:
- Race or nationality
- Sexual orientation
- Veteran status
- Many other categories protected by California employment law.
Generally, termination will be considered wrongful if it is made in response to an employee's valid complaints about the company's refusal to comply with labor laws or safety regulations.
Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim in California
There is a specific process that claimants must adhere to in order to successfully preserve their rights in some cases of wrongful termination. Employees are protected both by federal and state law. Solmer Law can help you file a claim correctly and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal administrative agency dedicated to investigating claims of discrimination in the workplace and, if applicable, wrongful termination that stemmed from discrimination.
The EEOC's state counterpart is theCalifornia Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which also investigates lawsuits relating to discrimination in California workplaces.
Before bringing a lawsuit based on a violation of certain anti-discrimination and related laws, the claimant is required to exhaust administrative remedies with the EEOC and DFEH.
Both the EEOC and the DFEH can be contacted in response to wrongful termination. But you must request a “Right to Sue” letter before proceeding with state court.. Our Orange County wrongful termination attorney can help you navigate your options and provide you with further information on the nuances surrounding state and federal proceedings. Contact us to learn the many options you have to resolve a wrongful termination dispute.
Fight for Your Rights with Our Orange County Wrongful Termination Lawyer
While you might feel like you have no way to overcome your circumstances, remember that there are stringent state and federal laws that protect you from wrongful termination. Solmer Law can zealously advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.