Our Los Angeles wrongful termination and discrimination in employment lawyers represent employees throughout Southern California, including, but not limited to, Koreatown, Wilshire District, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice, the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley. Our years of experience have solidified The Nourmand Law Firm as one of the premier employment law firms in Southern California. If you feel you have been discriminated against or had your employment terminated for an illegal reason, please contact our office immediately.
Under California Constitution, Article I Section 8, a person may not be disqualified from entering a business, profession, vocation or employment because of their sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin. Under the California Fair Employment Housing Act, it is also unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee because of the employee’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, or sexual orientation.
As a California employee, you may not be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of your employment. Even though employment in California is “at-will,” you cannot be fired for an unlawful reason. California law has substantial legal protections to prevent employers from discriminating against you based on a protected characteristic.
These protections are embodied in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which provides statutory protection, as well as the so-called common law, which recognizes that employees can bring a claim against former employers for Wrongful Termination in violation of public policy.
If you have experienced wrongful termination in violation of public policy, you must contact a California wrongful termination lawyer from The Nourmand Law Firm so that we can review your situation, explain your rights and help you file a lawsuit against your employer.California’s FEHA Prohibits Discrimination in Employment
The FEHA permits employees who have been discriminated against to recover lost compensation, including backpay, future earnings, as well as damages for emotional distress, and may even allow recovery of punitive damages.Who Does the FEHA Protect?
The FEHA protects current employees, former employees and even applicants.Who Must Comply With the FEHA?
An employer who employs five (5) or more employees must comply with FEHA. The FEHA does not apply to employees working for their spouse, child or parents. Also, FEHA does not apply to nonprofit religious organizations.1What is Required by the FEHA?
FEHA protects employees against discrimination by employers in hiring, discharge, employment, and even selection for training programs that would lead to employment, or in the compensation or conditions, privileges or terms of employment.What is a Protected Characteristic?
An employer cannot make a decision with respect to your employment because of your:
- National Origin
- Physical Disability
- Mental Disability
- Medical Condition
- Genetic Information
- Marital Status
- Gender Expression
- Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Pregnancy or Related Condition
If you are unlawfully terminated in the State of California, you may be entitled to recover damages from your employer. The wrongful termination lawyers at The Nourmand Law Firm have helped many clients who have been unlawfully terminated or retaliated against. We will aggressively fight for your rights in court and work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.
You have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for the following wrongful termination violations:
- Termination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, religion or some other protected class
- Opposition to some unlawful activity
- Requesting accommodation
- Taking pregnancy leave
- Demanding overtime, rest breaks or lunch breaks that you have earned or are entitled to
- Taking family and/or medical leave that you are entitled to
- Taking time off to vote
- Your marital or family status
- Serving jury duty
There are a number of other reasons and situations where termination is considered to be unlawful in the State of California. These include:
- Firing in violation of Federal and State anti-discrimination laws
- Firing as a form of sexual harassment
- Firing in violation of labor laws
- Firing in retaliation of an employee having filed a complaint or claim against the employer
- Termination because an employee has requested leave for or filed a complaint in the following ways:
- Jury duty
- Domestic violence complaint
- Workplace safety complaint
- Whistle blowing
Some violations carry statutory penalties while others require the employer to pay damages based on the terminated employee’s lost wages and other expenses. In some cases, a wrongful termination case may raise the possibility that the employer pays punitive damages to the terminated employee.What is an Unlawful Employment Practice?
If an employer takes any of the following actions against you because of a protected characteristic, you may have a claim under the FEHA for:
- Refusing to hire or employ
- Refusing to select for a training program leading to employment
- Discharge from employment or a training program leading to employment
- Discrimination in compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
“Terms, conditions or privileges of employment” is interpreted broadly, and extends to such conduct as:
- Failing to Accommodate for known disability
In addition to the statutory protections of the FEHA, California also recognizes a common law claim for Wrongful Termination. Wrongful Termination claims can be broader in scope than the specific protected characteristics, and simply must be connected to some public policy of the State of California.
A claim for Wrongful Termination requires:
- An employer-employee relationship
- An adverse employment action
- A “nexus” between the termination and a public policy that protects the employee
- And legal damages caused by the adverse action
Typically, the employer-employee relationship and termination have already occurred, therefore the critical analysis is demonstrating that the adverse employment action was because the employee participated in some activity protected by Public Policy.Examples of Protected Activity and Public Policy
- Employment Discrimination
- Violation of Family or Medical Leave laws
- Protesting Unsafe Working Conditions
- Refusing to Sign a Noncompetition Agreement
- Refusing to Release an Employer from Liability for Intentional Acts
- Whistleblowing for Misappropriation of Public Funds
- Disclosing Improper Acts that affect the Public at Large
- Testifying at a Hearing
- Advocating Medical Care
- Discussing Wages with Co-workers
- Equal Pay
- Political Activity
In the State of California, the majority of employment relationships are on an “at will” basis. This means that the employer and the employee may terminate the employment relationship for any reason, with or without cause. The only exception is when there is an unlawful motivation or retaliatory reason for the termination. When the employer’s conduct violates state and federal laws, it is grounds for a lawsuit.
All employees who have suffered unlawful conduct in the State of California are protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and/or California Constitution. The California wrongful termination lawyers at The Nourmand Law Firm can help you file your claim and provide the professional representation you need to win your case.
If you feel that you were terminated or discriminated against on the basis of one of the protected classes discussed above, please contact our California wrongful termination lawyers, California employment lawyers at the Nourmand Law Firm. We have Spanish-speaking staff and offer free consultations.
1 Cal. Gov. Code 12926(d)