Posted By Sirmabekian
Signs It’s Time To Hire A Wrongful Termination Lawyer In California
Employees are fired by their employers every day. It may be due to a lack of skills, a poor work ethic, or various other reasons. For the most part, it’s legal to fire an employee in California. Without notice, at any time, the working relationship can be ended by either an employee or an employer because California is an “at will” state. But, if illegal reasons or incorrect reasons are the basis for an employee being fired, that employee may be able to make a claim for wrongful termination.
If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, it is in your best interest to contact a wrongful termination lawyer.
Wrongful Termination – What Is It?
You may have a wrongful termination claim if you are an employee who has been fired:
- In violation of an employee contract
- For exercising your legal rights
- For discriminatory reasons
Most employees in California are “at will”. Many states are, in fact, “at will”. Basically, what that means is that, at any time, employees are free to leave their job. It also means the decision to terminate an employee doesn’t need to be justified. It is generally acceptable for an employer – for no reason at all or for very good reason – to terminate employment whenever they choose.
Rather than being “at will”, but terminating an employee “for cause”, means that the employee’s termination must be for good reason. If, for example, the responsibilities of the job were not adequately performed by an employee, good cause exists.
Retaliation and Harassment
Sometimes employees are retaliated against or harassed for asserting their lawful rights. Examples of someone being fired in retaliation include the following:
The employee was fired for…
- Filing an OSHA complaint
- In the case of healthcare workers, reporting concerns about patient safety
- Reporting violations of the Labor Code (an example would be if an employer isn’t providing rest or meal breaks)
- Complaining about overtime or unpaid wages
- Making a safety complaint or workplace health complaint
- Claiming Workers’ Compensation
- Reporting activities they felt were unlawful
When Termination Motives Are Mixed
If, for firing an employee, an employer has both a legitimate reason and unlawful motives, this can be referred to as “mixed-mode of termination”. The termination will be classified as wrongful if, in making the decision, the substantial motivating factor was an unlawful reason. You may have a valid claim for damages if, even in part, your termination was motivated by factors considered unlawful. However, you will need to prove that a substantial motivating factor was some type of discrimination.
- Intolerable Conditions
If, compared to conditions faced by other coworkers, you faced unreasonably harsh working conditions, you are protected. Naturally, an environment free of stress is never guaranteed. The conditions you feel are intolerable must be part of a continuous pattern or extreme. They must be such that any reasonable employee would resign because conditions are so intolerable.
- Constructive Discharge
When, for an employee, intolerable working conditions are intentionally created by an employer – so they have no choice but to quit – this is referred to as “constructive discharge”.
Do You Feel You May Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?
If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated by a company, or by an individual, it’s time to contact the professional attorneys at Sirmabekian Law Firm. We will aggressively handle your claim, regardless of the company’s size. We have dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced attorneys who fight for the rights of California’s working individuals.
Contact us today to discuss your case or for a free consultation.