Hard work comes with any job. Performing that work to the best of your ability every day is probably a bar you have set high for yourself. You do it all so that you can earn a wage to support you and your family. Losing the job that you have worked so hard at can be devastating, particularly when the circumstances of the termination seem wrong or unjust. If you feel your employment rights have been violated because of a wrongful termination, you should speak with an expert employment lawyer. They can review the details of your termination and help you determine the best course of action in Burbank, CA.
California places a high value on employees, which is why they have very detailed laws that protect their rights. However, there are some laws that create ambiguity for both employees and employers. Since California is considered an “at-will” state, both employers and employees can terminate employment at any time for any reason. However, they can only do this if that reason does not violate other laws that protect employees.
Wrongful termination occurs when the legal policies protecting workers are violated. The policies, regulations, and statutes set forth in the employment laws protect workers from incidents of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. An employee cannot be terminated due to:
If this occurs, it would be considered discriminatory and illegal. Other examples of wrongful termination include:
While these highlight a few examples of wrongful termination, there are many others that fall within the definition.
When you are hired, the agreement you make with your employer regarding the wages earned, the number of hours you are to work, the duties to be performed, and the training you receive becomes a legally binding protection against wrongful termination. However, if you are hired as an independent contractor, you are not protected by California law.
The state of California and the federal government have enacted several laws that protect employees from wrongful termination. To be considered wrongful termination, an employer must violate one of the following:
Wrongful termination can be difficult to recognize because of the subtlety with which employers may terminate an employee. In many situations, they are knowingly breaking the law and therefore choose to justify the illegal termination through legal means. However, there are two classifications of wrongful termination that could help uncover the incidents when they occur. They are:
Employers will attempt to prove that your termination was justified by poor performance, workplace misconduct, or absenteeism. In order to successfully prove wrongful termination, you must prove that your employer falsely stated the reasoning for your termination and that the actual reason was illegal. The illegal reason must be motivated by retaliation, discrimination, a breach of contract, or a violation of public policy.
To do this, there are several steps you should follow:
Whenever an employer decides to fire an employee because of their race, religion, age, sex, or other protected characteristic, it is considered wrongful termination. To prove that you were illegally terminated, you must show that the stated reason for separation was invalid and that the actual reason is due to retaliation, discrimination, or harassment.
Because the circumstances of each case are different, the amount of the settlement can vary. The average recorded settlement for wrongful termination cases is less than $70,000. However, this number may not reflect the true scope of settlement amounts. Many wrongful termination settlements are confidential, and therefore this total is only based on the data that is available. Your employment attorney can help identify the potential settlement you may be entitled to.
In California, you have up to two years to file a claim for wrongful termination or retaliation. This timeline includes claims for breach of oral contracts or allegations that your employer engaged in outrageous workplace behavior. If you are also going to file a claim for discrimination or harassment, that must be done within one year of the incident. If you are part of a union and your termination was a breach of your collective bargaining agreement, you have six months to file a claim.
The first step is to consult with an employment attorney. They will examine the specifics of your case to determine whether you should file at the state or federal level, depending on your industry of employment. Additionally, they will help you understand what you may recover through your claim.
Employment is a necessary part of life that allows you to earn a living to support yourself and your family. When you perform the duties of your job to the best of your ability, you want to know that you will be positively recognized and rewarded through fair treatment and appropriate compensation. When someone is mistreated because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other number of protected characteristics, it can be painful. When that same mistreatment unlawfully costs you the job you rely on, it can be devastating and have a lasting impact.
At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we know how hard this can be. Our team of expert employment lawyers has the knowledge and expertise to help you through this difficult time. We can represent you and fight for the worker’s rights you are entitled to. If you feel that you are the victim of wrongful termination, contact our offices today and let us help make it right. We always put your best interests first and treat your case as if it were our own.