More Information about Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Cases
Provided by our Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Generally, when an employer unjustly or compulsorily fires or terminates the services of an employee, it is believed that the employee has a claim for wrongful termination against the employer. This is a wrong notion in California. California employment law follows the “at-will” employment doctrine. According to this doctrine, in the absence of an employment contract, an employer may freely terminate an employee despite just cause or an employee may quit one’s job whenever felt, usually without consequence. However, there are numerous exceptions to this doctrine, and if the employee is able to bring his employment termination claim within the purview of any of those exceptions, the employee can have a valid claim against the employer.
Grounds for filing a claim
As California does not have a direct wrongful termination law, there are various state and Federal law provisions, which grant protection to an employee. Under the said state and Federal laws there are various instances when the employee can bring a valid claim against the employer for forcefully terminating the employee. Some of those instances are: Retaliation, Discrimination, Breach of contract, Character assassination, Breach of Good faith, Constructive discharge etc. Retaliation: If the termination is as a result of the employee reporting the illegal act of the employer to the appropriate authority, it can be called termination in retaliation. Discrimination: If the termination is based on one’s caste, creed, sex, color, race, religion or any of the discriminatory reasons, it is called termination based on discrimination. Breach of expressed or implied contract: When an employment is based on a contract for a stipulated period, and if the employer terminates the employee without good cause, before the period expires, this termination is a breach of express contract. Sometimes employment may not be based on a contract, in such situations an implied contract will be presumed based on employers’ policy manuals, employee handbooks, employee agreements and like documents, as binding, implied contracts of continued employment. A landmark decision in California namely, Foley vs. Interactive Data Corp. laid down certain criteria to be considered for implied contracts. Such as employee’s chain of promotions, raises, great merit reviews, and verbal assurances of job security. Character assassination: If the employer makes false allegation against the employee in order to terminate the employee, it is a termination in violation of public policy. Breach of Good faith and fair dealing: There is an implied promise that the employer shall treat the employees fairly. If the employee is terminated based on false reasons articulated by the employer, it amounts to breach of good faith and fair deal. Constructive discharge: When an employee is forced to quit due to certain changes made by the employer in the work place, it amounts to Constructive discharge.
The first step towards making a claim against the employer for wrongful termination is to send a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer notice. Sometimes the employer may decide to settle the claim upon receiving the lawyer notice. Then the issue ends there. At times, the employer may choose to go ahead without settling the claim. Then it will lead to filing of a lawsuit for wrongful termination based on one or more of the grounds stated above. An alternative to lawsuit is to arbitrate the case. Sometimes arbitration will be the sole choice, if the employee had signed any arbitration agreement (mandatory) with the employer. Choosing to arbitrate one’s case is beneficial, since it does not need the presence of an attorney. The most important factor is the time. When an employee has a wrongful termination claim, one should immediately consult one’s attorney to know the various remedies and alternative. Otherwise a valid claim may fail due to running out of time. If you think that you were fired unfairly, please contact a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney at our law firm now.