Pursuing an Unlawful Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
When it comes to employment, California is an “at-will” state. This means that your employer and you are free to end your relationship whenever you want. However, there are limits. Your employer cannot terminate you in violation of the law or public policy. Employers may not be aware of their obligations under the law, or they may want to avoid being bound by the law. Wrongful termination lawsuits may arise as a result of workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or whistleblowing. If you were fired for illegal reasons, you should consult the California wrongful termination lawyers at The Nourmand Law Firm about pursuing an unlawful wrongful termination lawsuit. We are aggressive and knowledgeable when seeking legal remedies for our clients.Pursuing an Unlawful Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
You may have a claim for wrongful termination against your employer in an array of different circumstances. For instance, you may have a claim if:
- You were terminated due to your race or national origin
- You were terminated because you asked for a reasonable accommodation for a disability
- You were terminated because of your boss’ outdated ideas about your pregnancy
- You were terminated because you complained to HR about sexual harassment
- You were terminated because you took a lawful medical leave
- You were terminated because you filed a wage and hour claim in good faith
You may be able to vindicate your rights under federal and state laws. These laws regulate employers with regard to employment discrimination, wages, employment agreements, retaliation, harassment, and whistleblowing.Termination Based on Employment Discrimination
Federal anti-discrimination laws tend to apply only to workplaces that are mid-size or large. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Each of these laws is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which means that you will need to file a charge with the agency first before pursuing an unlawful wrongful termination lawsuit in court.
Most of the time, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides greater protection than federal law does. It applies to workplaces with just five employees. Harassment is prohibited in the state, no matter the size of your workplace. The broad range of characteristics protected under FEHA include national origin, race, religion, color, medical condition, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, military or veteran status, disability, and ancestry.Retaliation
Many laws that shield employees from employer misconduct include an anti-retaliation provision. Your employer should not retaliate against you for engaging in activities protected by these laws. For example, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act forbids your employer from terminating you because you have filed a complaint under it. Similarly, you are protected from retaliation based on filing a claim of unpaid wages under California Labor Code Section 98.6.
You may have a wrongful termination claim if you were fired because of your whistleblowing activities. Several California Labor Code sections apply to whistleblowing. The broadest is Labor Code 1102.5. Whistleblowing occurs if you disclose information about what you believe is a legal violation by your employer to a governmental agency or another person with authority to investigate. You are also considered a whistleblower who is protected if you give information or testify in front of a public body engaged in investigating or hearing about your employer’s legal violation.Constructive Termination
In most situations, a case will be stronger if an employer expressly terminated an employee. However, there are situations in which an employer engages in constructive termination. This means that an employer intentionally makes a job so unpleasant for the employee that their only choice is to resign. Before you resign, you should talk to an attorney about how a court is likely to interpret the facts and whether your employer’s actions are egregious.Consult a California Lawyer for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If you are considering pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit, you should consult our California attorneys about whether you have grounds to sue. The Nourmand Law Firm represents clients in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, as well as Oakland and Sacramento, among other areas. Complete our online form or give us a call at 310-553-3600 or 800-700-WAGE (9243).