Wrongful Termination Lawyers in Los Angeles
While nearly any employee in Los Angeles may be terminated from their job at anytime for many reasons, there are certain instances where it can be illegal for an employer to terminate an employee. If you have recently been fired or laid off, it is of significant importance to understand whether your employer’s reasons for terminating you were actually legal after all.
What is wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination is one of the many ways how an employer can illegally discriminate or retaliate against an employee, breach employment laws and violate employees rights.
Wrongful termination happens when an employer fires an employee because they are different from any other employees, or because they have engaged in a protected activity, such as whistleblowing or filing a sexual harassment complaint.
Although an employee may feel that they have been wrongfully terminated, it does not mean that an employer has actually violated any employment laws.
Labor laws in California: What Triggers Unlawful Termination?
In California, you cannot be terminated from your job for reasons that violate public policy or breach employment laws. Wrongful termination in violation of public policy is originated as non-statutory, common law tort type of claim that limits California “at will” employment presumption. There are several reasons for termination that constitute violations of public policy, thus breaching employment laws:
Wrongful termination for performing a legal obligation
If you are requested to perform a task by law, your employer may not terminate or otherwise discipline you for rightfully obeying the law.
Wrongful termination for refusing to violate a law
If an employer tells you to perform a task which you know is illegal and you refuse to do so, you cannot be fired for refusing to break the law. In this case, your employee’s rights have been violated and you have been victim to unlawful termination.
Wrongful termination for reporting a violation of a law
If you believe that your employer has violated the law, you can report the employer without fear of being fired. This includes health and safety regulations. For these purposes, all that matters is that your report was made in good faith. It does not matter if your violation report later turns out to be imprecise.
Wrongful termination for exercising a legal or constitutional right
If you have a legal right to engage in a certain type of activity (political association, freedom of speech, etc.) your employer may not terminate or otherwise discipline you for engaging in that activity.
Do I have a wrongful termination case?
If you have recently been terminated and believe you have been a victim of unlawful termination, you are in a position to file a wrongful termination report. A wrongful termination claim may be appropriate if your firing violated the following terms:
- Federal and state anti-discrimination laws
- Sexual harassment regulations
- Labor laws or collective bargaining laws
- Your employee agreement and employment laws
- Anti-retaliation employment laws
At-Will employment laws in California
In California and most other states across the United States, employment is “at-will”, meaning the employer can fire the employee, as long as employment laws and employees rights are not violated.
Most employees are surprised to learn this, however, “at will” employment gives employers the freedom to terminate the employees that they feel are not performing, or due to economic reasons which force the company to downsize their team.
When thinking about it, we as consumers have the right to select which products we purchase or return, and in a way, the same should apply for employers with “at will” employment. However, this rule does not apply in all circumstances of labor laws in California.
Whistleblower Protection in California
All employees working in the state of California are protected against employer retaliation in the event that you report an illegal or unethical act by your employer.
For example, a school district that fires a teacher for being a whistleblower for commenting on matters such as wasteful spending or unsecure school conditions cannot be fired as retaliation under whistleblower statutes protecting the employees rights.
Wondering how you can prepare for wrongful termination claims?
If you feel you are a victim of wrongful termination, it is important to speak to an employment lawyer. California Wrongful Termination Lawyer, Eric Panitz has a vast degree of experience in all areas of employment law and offers an initial case evaluation which is completely free of charge.
When choosing to work with Panitz Law Group APC, your case will be accepted on a contingency basis, which means that you are not entitled to pay any fees to us, unless we win.
In the free case evaluation, we will evaluate and explain whether your employer violated any of your employees rights during your termination or obliged resignation. During the evaluation of your unlawful termination, it will be helpful to have documentation such as:
- Job description and contract
- Payroll records and timecards
- Employee manual or company handbook
- Pre-employment screening and performance evaluations
- Contact information for co-workers who can support your claims
- Records you’ve kept of what happened
Should I seek an employment lawyer’s advice?
Various issues with regards to unlawful termination in California are often highly complex and many specific facts come into the equation. If you believe you may have been a victim of wrongful termination from your employer, your best interests will be served by presenting your case to a qualified employment lawyer in California.
Every wrongful termination case is unique, and different employment laws may apply depending on the specifics of your case. When you consult with expert wrongful termination lawyers, Panitz Law Group APC, your goals, concerns, and options will be addressed by by a professional employment lawyer.
If you believe you are the victim of wrongful termination, consult the skilled California wrongful termination lawyers at Panitz Law Group APC today. Our firm has established a concrete reputation for excellence in employment discrimination law and is dedicated to helping you recover the compensation that you deserve.