California is an “at-will” employment state. This means that either the employer or employee can end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason — as long as it isn’t discriminatory or retaliatory. Unfortunately, employees are fired or laid off by employers for illegal reasons every day. In these cases, an employee may have the right to commence a wrongful termination lawsuit.
There are legal protections at the state and federal levels that shield workers from being wrongfully terminated from their employment. Laws are also in place that protect workers from being retaliated against for reporting employment law and safety violations. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we provide experienced representation and high-quality legal services to clients who have been illegally fired by their employers and work to help them recover the compensation they deserve.
There are several grounds under which wrongful termination lawsuits can arise in California. Under California Labor Code 1102.5, an employer may violate the law if they fire an employee in retaliation for reporting a legal, safety, or health violation at the workplace — commonly known as “whistleblowing.” Employers are also prohibited from terminating or retaliating against employees for complaining about or disclosing their wages, and discussing workplace conditions. In addition, employers may not discharge, discriminate, or retaliate against workers who have been victims of domestic violence, assault, or stalking who require time off work to obtain relief.
Significantly, employment termination is considered illegal in California if it has been based on discrimination in connection with an employee’s age, disability, ethnicity, family responsibility, gender, race, pregnancy, military status, national origin, religion, or other protected status. It is also against the law to fire an employee for making a complaint about a hostile working environment, or to constructively terminate them by creating conditions that are so intolerable they are forced to quit.
In California, employers must also ensure they comply with the WARN Act. This Act mandates employers with 75 or more employees to provide a 60-day notice before closing a facility or laying off 50 or more employees. An employer’s failure to do so may entitle an employee to recover the wages and benefits they lost during the time the notice fell short.
When you are terminated in violation of law, discriminated against, or deprived of your legal rights in the workplace, your dignity and income both suffer. The employment attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers understand that work is about so much more than just the wages you make. We are committed to helping you ensure you recover not only the compensation you deserve, but that you regain your sense of self-worth.
California employers are prohibited from terminating employees for asserting or attempting to enforce their employment rights. If you were fired for making a complaint related to discrimination or harassment or reporting illegal practices in the workplace, your employer might be in violation of the law. Employers also cannot terminate an employee for taking family or medical leave, or refusing to work under conditions that violate health standards and OSHA regulations.
At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we understand that losing a job can be stressful — emotionally and financially. No worker should have to see their employment suffer because they stood up for their rights. Our attorneys are committed to ensuring your employer is held accountable for their wrongful actions and that you obtain justice.
Losing a job can have a devastating economic impact for you and your family. Fortunately, there are various compensatory damages that may be available in a wrongful termination lawsuit depending on the facts of your case and the legal theory upon which the action is based. You may be entitled to lost wages and benefits, attorney’s fees, and litigation costs. In some cases, you may also be eligible to assert a claim for emotional distress damages.
Although not everyone would like their former job back due to the contentiousness that may have arisen between them and their employer, reinstatement may be a legal remedy to which you’re entitled. If you are reinstated, you would be placed back in the same position had it not been for the wrongful termination. In addition, you might be entitled to back pay.
Punitive damages are another type of damages sometimes awarded in a California wrongful termination lawsuit. While other damages are meant to compensate you financially for the economic harm you suffered, punitive damages are designed to punish an employer for their egregious and unlawful actions. Critically, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the employer acted with oppression, fraud, or malice to recover these damages.
If you have been subjected to mistreatment by your employer or terminated for a wrongful or illegal reason, it’s crucial to take legal action. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we work tirelessly to stand up for employees who have been exploited, wronged, or deprived of their rights in the workplace. Offering effective counsel, personalized services, and thorough representation, we strive to recover the maximum amount of recovery that is rightfully yours.
Every employee deserves to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. If your employer terminated you or retaliated against you because you took a stand against their wrongful practices, an experienced employment law attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Optimum Employment Lawyers is dedicated to providing superior legal services and diligent representation for wrongful termination and other employment matters in California. Contact us at (949) 954-8181 to schedule a consultation.