Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorney
In California, unless you have a contract you are considered to be an “at will” employee. Being “at will” means that your employer can end your employment any time they want. And, you can quit your job at any time.
It is legal for your employer to fire you for an “unfair reason.” Your employer doesn’t even need a reason to fire you. Just as you do not have to continue working for someone, your employer does not have to continue working with you either.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are exceptions to the “at will” rule. There are situations when a termination is considered illegal. If you have been fired for an illegal reason, that is a wrongful termination.
Common wrongful terminations or lay offs include:
- You were discriminated against on the basis of your race, sex, age, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin
- You were fired after complaining about discrimination, sexual harassment or overtime
- You were fired or laid-off even though you had a contract
- Your employer is retaliating for your filing a complaint against him for breaking the law.
- You were fired for taking time off for military service
- You were fired for having a long-term illness or because you took time off when your child was ill
- You were fired for refusing to perform in an unsafe or unhealthy work environment
- You refused to break the law at your employer’s request
- You exercised your right to vote
- You helped organize a union
- Your treatment at work was so harmful that you sustained serious emotional injuries
The Reason You Were Fired
If you are fired for any of the reasons above, it is unlikely that your employer will come out and admit to the “real” reason you were fired. More than likely you were given a “rational” reason, but in the light those “rational reasons” have holes in them. Or, your employer might have convinced other employees or supervisors to complain about you. Or, you are suddenly given a letter of warning, though you have a long history of positive evaluations.
If you suspect any of the above is relevant to your dismissal, you may have a wrongful termination lawsuit.
How to Protect Yourself
Because an employer will often try to cover up a wrongful termination, it’s a good idea to keep a record of the events surrounding your firing or lay off. Santa Monica wrongful termination attorney David Olan suggests:
- Keep track — in writing — of dates, locations, and names of those involved in performance reviews, off-handed comments, commendations, and reprimands about your work.
- Make a written complaint to your supervisor or to HR.
- Keep your notes in a safe place, not at the office and not in a work computer.
These records could be helpful if your employer challenges your right to receive unemployment insurance. If your employer wants to challenge your unemployment insurance claim, you may need to demonstrate that you were fired for no good reason. These notes also can help you prove that you were wrongfully terminated.
You Can’t Afford Not to Call
Santa Monica wrongful termination attorney David Olan takes wrongful termination cases on a contingency basis. These is no cost to you until David Olan resolves your cases.
Contact a Wrongful Termination Attorney
Contact Santa Monica wrongful termination attorney David Olan for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Questions & Answers
Q: Can I be fired with no notice?A: California is an “at will” state. That means you can be fired for almost any reason (except for reasons to do with discrimination or if you have a contract), for no reason, or even for an unfair reason. You don’t even have to be given a reason. And your employer does not have to give you notice. Just as you can’t be forced to work somewhere you don’t want to work, your employer generally can’t be forced to keep you.
Q: What compensation can I recover if I’m wrongfully termination?
A: If you have been wrongfully terminated, you may be eligible for:
- Lost wages and benefits.
- Future wages and benefits.
- Pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages.
- Attorneys fees.
Q: How do I know if I’ve been wrongfully terminated?
A: Since California is an “at will” work state, there are only a few reasons that you cannot be fired. You cannot be fired if that firing is discrimination; you cannot be fired if you have a contract; and you cannot be fired if you filed or testified for someone who filed a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit. The best way to know though is to contact a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney.
For a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation, contact David Olan.