Orange County Wrongful Termination Lawyers
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Losing your job is arguably one of the greatest challenges you could ever face in your career, especially if it happens unexpectedly. While the end of any employment relationship is not without its challenges, the frustration and difficulty of this situation can be compounded if you feel that your termination was not justified.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, know that you have rights. At Aegis Law Firm, our Orange County wrongful termination attorneys have decades of experience tenaciously representing the rights of employees throughout California and can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Reasons why you can trust us with your wrongful termination case:
- More than $300 million recovered in verdicts and settlements
- Experienced, trial-tested advocates
- 99% success rate
- No fees unless we win
At-Will vs. Wrongful Termination in California
The majority of workers in California are known as “at-will” employees. This means that the employer may end the employment relationship at any time, with or without just cause.
However, there are important exceptions to the “at-will” rule that have been created by the courts, statutes, and public policy in order to protect employees from wrongful termination.
Although the law can be complicated in this area, the majority of the laws are set-up to protect you. There are a variety of reasons an employer may not fire an employee.
Generally, there are two scenarios under which an employee may not be terminated: (1) Discrimination; and (2) Retaliation.
Discrimination Wrongful Termination
In the state of California, employers cannot fire an employee because of specific characteristics. The employer may try to claim that the decision to terminate the employment because of something else, making it vital for you to work with a lawyer to determine the truth behind the decision.
An employer cannot fire someone for any of the following reasons:
Age: Whether younger or older, if an employee is still effective at his or her job, the employer cannot decide to terminate the employee because of age.
Gender: Making any decision based off gender can land an employer in hot water. An employer cannot use sex as a reason for termination.
Race: One of the most significant forms of discrimination involves an employee’s race. When the employer uses race as a factor for termination, the employee has rights to file a lawsuit.
Religion: Certain employees may practice different faiths, resulting in the need for time off and other requests. An employer cannot fire this individual unless the time off results in performance issues.
Discrimination can also arise for any other protected class including political affiliation, disability, and national origin. Whenever an employer terminates an employee of a protected class, it’s vital to show that the employee’s performance was up to par, and there was no valid reason for the termination.
Retaliation Wrongful Termination
Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for their employees. Those employees can also report an unsafe work environment to government officials. When employers catch wind of the report, they may try to fire the employee out of retaliation to punish him or her. This is not legal.
Retaliation is the reaction of your employer after you:
- “Whistle-blow” – Notify higher management/outside entity of illegal activities
- Protest or Report – Discrimination, harassment (against protected class), wage and hour violations, unsafe work conditions, or a perceived illegal activity
- File a Workers Compensation claim
- Request/take a protected leave: FMLA, CFRA, Maternity Leave, Medical Leave, Voting, Jury Duty
- Participate in a protected activity such as take time off to vote or complete jury duty, union discussions, file a lawsuit, etc.
Retaliation can include but is not limited to:
- Decreased compensation
- Disciplinary actions such as write-ups, suspension, or being placed on a Performance Improvement Plan
Steps to Take After Being Terminated
If you've been terminated by your employer, we recommend you take the following steps:
- Stay calm. While you may feel angry, do not act on negative instincts or act in an irrational manner after being notified. Making rash decisions can likely hurt you later on should you have a valid wrongful termination claim.
- Ask questions. Always inquire as to why you were terminated and who made the final decision.
- Review your employment contract. Even if you are given what appears to be a lawful reason for termination, your employment contract could potential prove otherwise.
- Do not retaliate. You may be angry after being terminated and rightfully so. But retaliating even in the smallest way will make it harder to collect damages. Stealing, destroying property, and badmouthing, especially on social media, are just a few examples.
- Document everything. If you plan on filing a wrongful termination claim, you will need clear evidence to prove your claim. Gather all formal documents and write down details so you don't forget.
- Contact a lawyer. Our Orange County wrongful termination attorneys are skilled in determining if you have a case or not. It is best to act quickly, before the statute of limitations runs out.
Putting a Lawyer in Your Corner is the Right Step
At Aegis Law Firm, we protect the rights of those that have been violated by their employer. Because the terms of a wrongful termination vary so greatly, you should contact our office as soon as possible for a free case evaluation. We can help you determine if your termination was in fact wrongful, and what you can do to be compensated for your hardship.
Many wrongful termination settlements turn out to be quite large, but the amount awarded depends upon the individual circumstances surrounding each case.
I absolutely love Aegis Law Firm!- Ty H.
The professionalism you will receive from Aegis Law Firm is unmatched.- Ali I.
Kashif Haque is truly the most professional and efficient lawyer I have ever dealt with.- Jessica T.
Aegis Law Firm's staff are extremely professional and very nice.- Jas G.
I highly recommend Aegis Law Firm!- Syl S.
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