Wrongful Termination Based on Race
In California, employment is at will. However, your employer must still follow anti-discrimination statutes and other laws. When termination is for an improper purpose, such as because of your race or because you exercised your rights in connection with an anti-discrimination claim, you may have a basis to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit and recover damages. At The Nourmand Law Firm, our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can help you seek compensation if you were fired because of your race, among other protected traits.Establishing Liability for Wrongful Termination Based on Race
Under California’s Labor Code, any employment relationship is presumed to be at-will if it is not based on a contract that specifies its duration. Generally, employers may terminate an employee’s employment at any time. However, they may not do so in contravention of a contract, a statute or public policy.
Both federal and California laws prohibit discrimination based on race, as well as retaliation for pursuing a complaint about race-based discrimination. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, employment discrimination based on several protected characteristics, including race, is prohibited. Similarly, under Title VII, which is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you may bring a claim against a covered employer if you suffered from discrimination based on race. Discrimination, as defined under these statutes, involves your employer taking any adverse action against you based on a protected activity related to your employment, up to and including termination.
Sometimes an employer does not terminate your employment explicitly. An employer constructively discharges you if it causes work conditions to get so bad that you are forced to quit your job. If you had a right to continue with your employment, but the situation was intolerable, the employer still may be liable for wrongful termination. However, it is wise to consult an attorney before you decide that you were constructively discharged and leave your employment.
If you were terminated because of your race or because you engaged in a protected activity, you should first file a charge with the EEOC or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, depending on the size of your employer. In most cases, FEHA provides more expansive protections than Title VII. You have a limited window of time within which to file your charge, and only after the appropriate agency investigates may you file a lawsuit.
If you win a wrongful termination lawsuit, there may be numerous remedies available. Only rarely do employees want reinstatement in their old job when racial discrimination was the basis of their termination. More often, employees request monetary damages, such as back pay, lost benefits, pain and suffering, court costs, and attorneys’ fees. Front pay compensates you if you are not likely to be able to find a job for some time in the future. In some cases, punitive damages may be warranted. These are damages that are ordered to punish an employer for especially egregious instances of wrongful termination or another form of discrimination.Discuss Your Wrongful Termination Claim with a Los Angeles Lawyer
If you have been fired because of your race, the Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to help you sue for damages. We provide aggressive and knowledgeable representation to employees in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Vernon, Alhambra, Glendale, Montebello, San Gabriel Valley, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Palm Springs, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Van Nuys, Beverly Hills, and other cities in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form for a free appointment with a race discrimination lawyer.