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Fired Due to Wrongful Termination
You’ve been fired from your job. You’re frustrated. You’re upset. You needed that job. You have bills to pay. You take pride in your work. You thought you were doing a great job. Now what, you ask yourself? For one thing, you have some decisions to make. Are you going to apply for unemployment benefits? Are you going to look for another job immediately? Are you going to look for the same type of work, or are you thinking of a career change? What is the minimum wage you are willing to accept? What is the going wage for the type of work you do? How far are you willing to commute? Do you want to work remotely? Is the kind of work you do something that can be done remotely? Are you thinking of going back to school to improve your career prospects?Other Things You Should Think About When You Are Fired From Your Job Were You an At-Will Employee? Employment Contracts
Did you sign an employment contract when you started with your employer? For example, did your employer and you agree that the term of your employment would not end for at least—let’s say, six months or a year? If you did sign an employment contract, look it over to see whether your employer breached the contract by firing you. Seek help if you need it.At-Will Employment
Were you an at-will employee? Most employees do not sign an employment contract with their employers. Employment contracts are the exception to the rule. Most likely, you did not sign an employment contract. Thus, you were an “at-will” employee. This means you could be fired for no reason or almost any reason at all (so long as it wasn’t an illegal/unlawful reason).Were You Fired for an Illegal/Unlawful Reason?
So many things to think about when you get fired. Well, here’s one more—were you fired for an illegal (unlawful) reason? If you were fired for an illegal reason, then you were wrongfully terminated and you were fired due to wrongful termination.Why Does It Matter Whether You Were Fired for an Illegal/Unlawful Reason?
It matters because under the law you have rights and remedies if you were fired for an illegal reason. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be entitled to significant monetary compensation.Do You Need an Attorney if You Were Fired for an Illegal/Unlawful Reason? It Is Not Easy to Prove That You Were Fired Due to Wrongful Termination
Your employer is not going to admit that you were fired for an illegal/unlawful reason, or that you were wrongfully terminated. Your employer may not give any reason for firing you. Conversely, your employer may say that you were fired for poor performance, poor attendance, for violation of a safety rule or company policy, or some other reason, which if believed, would be a legal reason for firing you. You may believe that the reason given for you being fired is a bunch of made-up nonsense aimed at getting rid of you as quickly and quietly as possible. You may believe you were actually fired for an illegal reason. The tough part is convincing a jury or a judge that you were fired for an illegal reason, and your ex-employer is not being truthful. A jury or judge is free to believe your version of events. Similarly, a jury or judge is free to believe your employer’s version of events. Know that in the event you pursue a claim for wrongful termination, your ex-employer will hire an experienced employment attorney to defend its interests. That’s why you need to hire an experienced employment attorney of your own, one who knows how to navigate the legal system and present your case in the best possible light to a jury or a judge.What Are Some Examples of Being Fired for an Illegal Reason?
Wrongful terminations (being fired for an illegal/unlawful reason) fall into several broad categories. While the information below is aimed to help you understand whether you have been fired due to wrongful termination, it is just a brief summary of some of the many California laws pertaining to wrongful termination. Please visit other portions of our website for further articles on the various circumstances that can lead to wrongful termination.Fired and Wrongfully Terminated Due to Discrimination
California provides broader protections against discrimination (and harassment) in the workplace than what is available under federal law. Protection against discrimination is available under the California Constitution and the California Labor Code. However, California’s most comprehensive antidiscrimination law is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (California Government Code section 12900 et seq.) FEHA prohibits discrimination based on one or more of several personal characteristics. As you might expect, FEHA prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on such touchstone characteristics as disability, race, and sex. Keep in mind though that the reach of FEHA is much broader than that. For instance, FEHA prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on military status and marital status, characteristics you may not have ever considered as a basis for discrimination.Fired and Wrongfully Terminated Due to Retaliation
Retaliation occurs when your employer fires, unlawfully or wrongfully terminates, demotes, or otherwise discriminates against you for having engaged in a protected activity such as:
- Complaining of discrimination or harassment.
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Serving on a trial jury.
- Giving witness testimony in compliance with a subpoena or court order.
- Notifying an appropriate government or law enforcement agency when you believe your employer is violating laws enacted for the protection of corporate shareholders, investors, employees, or the general public.
You can’t always prevent an employer from firing you for an illegal reason. What you can do is assert your rights if you are fired for an illegal reason.Contact Us
If you have been fired due to wrongful termination, or if your employer or former employer has otherwise violated your rights, we are here to help you. Call the experienced and caring employment attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC or Contact Us via our convenient online form. We offer free consultations. We work entirely on contingency. No recovery. No fee.