Am I Able to Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?
Getting fired or laid off from your job is never easy. It is a painful experience that many Americans experience each year. While layoffs and job terminations are a part of the work experience, some of these terminations are illegal. If you believe that you have recently suffered a wrongful termination, then it is important to seek legal help. Proving wrongful termination is difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. For example, he or she will need to review the details surrounding your termination to determine if your employer acted illegally. Federal and state laws protect workers from wrongful termination. These laws make it illegal for an employer to fire an employee due to:
- Sex or gender
- National origin
- Taking protected time off
- Political beliefs
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Reporting on illegal activity
Conversely, it is important to understand that the majority of Americans are employed at will. This means that an employer may fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. As a result, the majority of terminations are legal, even if they are unfair. Unless you have a contract, you often have little recourse after your employer terminates your employment. Many employers know this, so they choose to offer employees as little notice as possible when terminating their employment. They also characterize most terminations as layoffs, so they can avoid potential litigation.
What Is the Process for Filing a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, then you have legal options. First, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer. He or she can review your situation and determine if you have a case. After making this determination, you can then determine when you are going to file your claim. However, you generally have 180 days from the date of the incident to file. Even still, before filing a lawsuit, you may need to file a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Fortunately, your lawyer can help you meet all of the necessary deadlines and protect your rights every step of the way.
When you file a wrongful termination lawsuit, you may receive payment for damages. These damages include, but are not limited to:
- Employee’s missed wages
- Back pay for unpaid wages
- Emotional or mental distress
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
Also, in some cases, the court can award front pay. This is considered as part of the employee’s projected future earnings. This often occurs in situations where reinstatement is not an option and the employee’s future employment opportunities have suffered due to the termination.
Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Were you recently fired from your job? Do you suspect that your employer acted illegally? If so, then you need someone on your side. At Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C., a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer can help. To learn more about your legal options, call us today at (310) 273-3180 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation.