After you are terminated from a job, it may not seem like you have much of an option for a case because of at-will employment, specifics of your employment contract, and more. However, although employee-at-will doctrines in California do give employers a lot of freedom to hire and terminate employees with the same freedom that an employee has to come and go from a job, there are specific situations where an employer may not simply terminate an employee without facing legal repercussion.
If you believe that you were terminated for an unlawful reason, contact the team at Timothy J Ryan & Associates as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation. During this consultation, you will be able to speak with a legal professional about your employment history, the circumstances of your separation from the company, why you suspect that the separation was unlawful, and any other relevant details to your possible case. Once we have discussed these issues, we will be able to tell you about our firm, our history of labor cases that we have taken on, and how we can help you seek the remedy to this situation that you deserve.
Read more below to get a better idea of the high-level details of some possible unlawful terminations in the state of California, and contact us now to be connected with an experienced unlawful termination lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible.
What Is Unlawful Termination?
The California Labor Code states that employment with no specified term may be terminated by either the employer or employee “at will.” This provides protection for the worker by giving them the freedom to enter and leave a job as they please but additionally allows the employer to hire and terminate employments as they see fit. This arrangement is for the mutual benefit of employees and employers alike, but can sometimes leave former employees in uncomfortable financial situations that they may feel there is no recourse for.
Although California treats employment as “at will,” there are certain situations where termination may be deemed unlawful, and therefore entitles the former employee to legal actions and possible financial compensation for the separation from the company.
In order for a termination to be considered unlawful, it must be found to violate a protected class or some other public policy. In addition to protected classes, there are also strict laws against punishing or retaliating against whistleblowers who report illegal activity to the government.
How Does a Protected Class Factor Into Termination
If you were fired because you had personal issues with your boss, or if you felt that the termination was unfair because of a miscommunication or clashes with management, this does not quality as an unlawful termination and is likely protected under the California Labor Code. However, if you believe that you were fired because of something like your race, religion, sexual preference, sex or gender, disability, or other Protected Class, then you may have a case. The previous examples are just a few types of protected classes recognized by the California Senate, so take a look at the link in order to get a comprehensive idea of what this concept means and who falls under these protected situations.
Retaliation and Unlawful Termination in Orange County
If you became aware of illegal activity taking place in your place of employment and reported this behavior to the government, you are protected from retaliatory termination. If you feel that you were separated from your former employer as a result of whistleblowing, then you may have a case.
In addition to whistleblower retaliation, there are other situations such as being fired after filing a workers' compensation claim that could also be determined to be a retaliatory act and therefore protected by California labor laws and entitling you to some form of settlement or compensation. The specifics surrounding retaliatory termination can vary depending on many different situations, so it is best that you contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible to get a better understanding of what happened, what your rights are, and what the best options for moving forward from this case may be.
Contact Us Today
The sooner you contact our team, the more time we will have to explore your case and options moving forward in order to help you get the justice that you deserve. Being terminated from a position can be stressful and overwhelming, and we will be happy to take some of the burden from you and focus on the legal aspect of your situation while you are able to focus on getting your life back on track and finding a company that values your contributions as an employee in a productive and inclusive way.