Being fired from a job can feel very personal - particularly if you aren't sure why your employer terminated your employment. Many jobs in the United States are considered at-will employment, which means employers can terminate employment at any time. However, some terminations are considered wrongful terminations.
When Is a Termination a Wrongful Termination?
If your termination violates anti-discrimination laws, breaches a contract, or is an act of retaliation, it is legally considered a wrongful termination. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, contact an experienced employment law attorney to help you fight the wrongful termination and protect your rights.
Do You Need a Wrongful Termination Attorney?
Almost every firing feels personal, so it can be challenging to determine whether your termination legally qualifies as wrongful termination or not. You can't prove and fight a wrongful termination or protect your rights as an employee if you aren't sure you even have a case, so it can be beneficial to speak with an attorney about the situation before taking any other action. Doing so provides a third-party perspective on a situation you may be too emotionally involved in to see clearly.
Have You Been Wrongfully Terminated? Understand Your Rights
It helps to enter the initial conversation with a basic understanding of your rights as an employee. You may have a valid wrongful termination claim if:
Your employment contract was violated
The employee discipline policy was violated
You were terminated in retaliation
You can show a history of differential treatment
Proving & Fighting Your Wrongful Termination:
When you decide to fight your wrongful termination, the first thing you need to do is prove that your termination violated employment law. Did you have an employment contract? If you signed
an employment contract when you were hired, and your employer violated the terms of the agreement, you could have a case for wrongful termination. Bring a copy of your employment contract for your attorney to review. A disciplinary policy may be legally recognized as an implied contract between an employee and their employer. Did your employer have standard disciplinary procedures? If that standard was not met in your case, you might have been wrongfully terminated. Were you fired after reporting an employment violation on site, filing a workers' compensation claim, agreeing to provide testimony for a co-worker's complaint, etc.? Suppose you were fired after reporting a violation, making a complaint, etc. In that case, you might have been fired in retaliation for that action, making your termination a violation of employment law. Were you fired based on job performance? If you were and you can show evidence that other employees were not held to the same standard or were given more leniency for similar job performance issues, you could have a valid wrongful termination claim.
Documentation to Gather for Your Wrongful Termination Claim:
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, gather the documentation you were provided when the company hired you (emails, printed documents, etc.) If there are clauses that define valid reasons for termination, pay close attention to how they could apply to your situation. In some cases, the employment contract is not written. If this is the case, gather any supporting documentation you have and discuss your options with your attorney. Other documentation you should collect includes:
your personnel file
notice of termination
record of events following the termination (take your own notes and document the experience)
a timeline of events recording anything you feel could have led up to the termination or contributed to the situation
Contact an Employment Lawyer Today
If you need help filing a California wrongful termination lawsuit or have questions about how California employment law protects you, contact Moss Bollinger, Sherman Oaks, California employment law attorney. He's dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of his clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation, or contact us online.