If you have been wrongfully terminated or forced to resign because of unfair treatment in the workplace, you should speak with an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer about your rights and legal options. Aegis Law Firm can help you.
If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated at work, or forced to resign, our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys can evaluate your case and determine if you have a valid claim. Your initial consultation is free, and we offer Spanish-speaking services. Call our Los Angeles employment law attorneys today at (949) 379-6250 to schedule your free consultation and assessment of your case.
The employer-employee relationship involves a level of free choice for the parties involved. Employers have the freedom to hire or terminate an employee as it suits their business. Employees also have a right to leave a workplace that no longer meets their needs. However, the law protects employees from termination for unlawful reasons, and unlawful adverse employer actions that force an employee to resign. An employee who has been wrongfully terminated may be entitled to legal remedies including recovery of past and future lost wages and benefits, and damages for emotional distress.
Certain employment actions are prohibited for public policy reasons, which could be for the protection of a class of persons in society based on disability, pregnancy, gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion. Other public policy reasons could be based on an employee’s refusal to engage in unlawful actions at the direction of their employer. When an employee is terminated for an unlawful reason in violation of federal and state laws, or in breach of their employment agreement, they may have a valid wrongful termination claim.
In addition to federal laws, California has a long list of state labor laws and regulations codes that protect workers from wrongful termination. Workers in California enjoy extensive protections under these laws:
Prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for asserting their rights as a member of a protected class. Protected employees fall into different categories including age (40 years or older), disability, pregnancy, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, medical condition, marital status, and veteran status.
This code prohibits an employer from retaliating against or terminating an employee who discusses or makes a report about the employer’s work conditions.
Prohibits the termination of an employee who has exercised their right to use their sick leave.
Prohibits the termination of an employee who refuses to work more hours than permitted by the State’s Industrial Welfare Commission.
Federal laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, all provide protections for workers who are terminated because they belong to a class of persons protected against discrimination in the workplace. While federal laws typically apply to businesses with 25 or more employees, California state employment laws apply to businesses with five or more employees, providing protection for a wider number of workers in California.
The employer-employee relationship is usually defined by an employment agreement, providing for the terms of the employment – how much an employee will be paid, what benefits they are entitled to, any limitations or restrictions on the employee, the employer’s responsibilities, and other important terms of the relationship. An employment contract may be for a fixed term, for example, a person may be employed for a renewable or non-renewable term of two years. On the other hand, where there is no specified term and the employment can be terminated by either the employer or the employee on notice, it is an at-will employment.
In California, all employment is presumed to be at-will. This means that an employer can terminate an employee for no reason at all, or for even an unfair reason, as long as the termination is not based on retaliation or discrimination. It does not matter whether the decision to terminate was a good, bad, or mistaken decision, an employer has the right to terminate an employee. What matters is whether the termination was discriminatory or retaliatory.
To succeed in a claim for wrongful termination, an employee must prove the following:
An employee must be able to show evidence to prove their case. The best way to pursue a wrongful termination case is to have the support of an experienced wrongful termination attorney who can help you navigate the law and meet your evidentiary burden to prove your case.
Sometimes, an employer may not outright terminate an employee, but they intentionally create a hostile working environment, which causes the employee to resign. This is referred to as a constructive termination. When an employee is constructively terminated in violation of the law, they may also be entitled to legal remedies if they suffered harm and the hostile working environment was the substantial factor in causing the harm suffered.
Employers are aware of the laws prohibiting wrongful termination and will try to disguise it as a lawful termination. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to contact an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney. The team at Aegis Law Firm has the experience and will fight for you with passion. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, contact Aegis Law Firm to find out how we can help you. Call us at (949) 379-6250 for a free evaluation of your case.