If you have been fired, you have every right to feel wronged. But that does not mean you have the makings of a successful wrongful termination lawsuit. At The Rankin Law Firm we will listen to your side of the story, and help you figure out if it would be appropriate to sue your former employer for wrongful termination.
At-Will Employment Means Firings Come With No Warning Or Reason
Employers can treat their employees pretty badly without ever doing anything illegal. They can work you to the bone, cut your hours, lower your pay, and generally disrespect you. But can they fire you for no reason? Unless you have an employment contract saying otherwise, the answer is yes.
They can do this because California is an at-will employment state. Unless you have an employment contract, there is a legal assumption that you are working at your job because you want to, and your employer wants you to. Either of you can change your mind at any moment and end your working relationship.
Your employer doesn’t need to give you a warning or a reason before showing you the door. In fact, many employers will not give you a warning because they don’t want you coming back to the office and causing trouble after they have decided to let you go. Few employers will discuss their reason for firing an employee because they do not want to open themselves up to a lawsuit by opening their mouth.
What Makes A Termination Wrongful?
If your firing was illegal, you may be able to seek compensation or reinstatement by filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. A termination is considered to be unlawful if it violates local, state, or federal anti-discrimination or anti-retaliation laws, breaches an employment contract, or violates public policy.
- Employers are barred from discriminating against employers by terminating them based on a wide range of legally protected characteristics under federal and state law.
- Several state and federal laws prohibit employers from terminating employees for complaining about discrimination or harassment in the workplace, reporting safety violations or unlawful conduct (whistleblowing), or participating in other legally protected activities. This is considered retaliation.
- Employment contracts often limit an employer’s ability to fire an employee. Employees who have documented terms of employment, even if it is just a text message or email promise, should seek legal counsel.
- You may have a valid wrongful termination claim if you were fired for exercising a legal right or performing a community action, such as voting, serving in the military, or serving on a jury.
The Road To Your Employment Rights Starts Here
If you have been fired out of the blue, it can be difficult to know if your employer’s actions have crossed the line and become something you can file a lawsuit over.
Employment law is complex, and there are a lot of “it depends” out there that can make or break your case. It is especially difficult to process what happened when your emotions are coloring your opinion of what happened.
The Rankin Law Firm’s experienced California employment law team can help you sort through the facts and pinpoint illegal activity. If you suspect you have been fired illegally, and want to know what your options are, we can help. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.