Was I Wrongfully Terminated?
Being laid off from your job can be a huge surprise, especially if you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed. While your employer has the right to dismiss you, you can challenge the dismissal and sue your employer if they do so unfairly.
Exceptions to At-Will Employment
In California, most employment relationships are at an ‘at-will state. This means that the employer and employee can end the working relationship for any reason and without notice.
What Counts as Wrongful Termination?
Although the at-will employment rule exists, California labor law has carved out exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include:
- Breach of contract
You’re not an at-will employee if your employment contract states that you’ll only be terminated under certain conditions. If you have such an agreement, it would be wrongful termination if your employer dismisses you for any other reason than stated in your employment agreement.
- Breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing
If your boss unfairly dismisses you, you may have a claim for wrongful termination. This may be based on the fact that your employer has violated their ‘covenant of good faith and fair dealing.’
In the workplace, lack of communication, evasion, deliberate inaction, lies, and any other form of interference are potential breaches of the covenant of good faith and fair dealings. Under certain circumstances, they could give rise to a claim of wrongful termination.
- Retaliation for complaints of sexual harassment
The law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Your employer must provide a work environment that is free of sexual harassment. Therefore, it is illegal for your boss to dismiss you or retaliate against you for complaining about or reporting sexual harassment (whether directed at you or a coworker) or participating as a witness in a sexual harassment investigation or case.
- Retaliation for taking family or medical leave
If your employer dismisses you while you’re on medical leave or within 90 days after returning from your leave, the law will presume that this is a wrongful termination.
- Retaliation for complaining about violations of wage and hour laws
Your employer shouldn’t fire you or retaliate against you for:
Complaining about and reporting unpaid wages, rest break and meal break violations, or unpaid overtime pay
Filing a formal complaint for unpaid wages or for exercising any rights protected by the California Labor Code
- Pregnancy discrimination
If you request workplace accommodations resulting from your pregnancy, including shorter hours or leave, and are denied or dismissed, this would constitute wrongful termination.
- Based on discrimination
It is considered wrongful termination if your employer fires you based on your
- Gender identity
- National origin
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Medical condition
- HIV/AIDS status
- Political affiliations
- Veteran status
- Citizenship status
- Violation of the public policy
It’s also considered wrongful termination if your employer fires you because:
- You took time off work to serve on a jury
- You disclosed information about hostile working conditions
- You during something they don’t approve off during nonworking hours and away from the office premises
- Requested for lactation accommodation or expressed breastmilk at work
- You took time off from work for activities related to victims’ rights when you have been a victim of that crime
What Can You Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?
If you feel like you’ve been wrongfully terminated, contact an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney.
A wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles will evaluate the potential of your case, help you determine what evidence will be important as the case progresses, and help you gather this evidence.
Are You Looking for an Orange County Wrongful Termination Attorney?
At Neal-Lopez Law Group, our workplace lawyers Los Angeles have a track record of representing wrongful termination victims in court and obtaining successful results on behalf of the clients.
Visit our offices today or call us on (562) 269-4325 and talk to our Los Angeles workplace lawyers to start your wrongful termination case.