California Wrongful Termination Attorneys
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated from your job or position, you should consider speaking with experienced wrongful termination lawyers who can help you exercise your rights to recover damages. If you can successfully prove that your employer wrongfully terminated you, it is possible you may be able to recover damages for your financial loss, future financial losses, punitive damages, and suffering. The labor and employment attorneys at Kingsley & Kingsley are very well-versed in representing employees throughout California including Los Angeles and San Francisco who have been unlawfully terminated.
In some states, including California, most employer/employee relationships are considered “at will”. An at-will employment means that the employer and/or the employee can stop the employment relationship for any reason, without or with cause. However, retaliatory reasons or unlawful motivation for termination is one exception for ending an at-will work relationship.
Under the law, an employer may not fire an employee based on:
- Race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or some other protected classification
- Requesting an accommodation
- Taking time off for maternity and/or pregnancy leave
- Serving on jury duty
- Opposing to conduct unlawful activity
- Refusing to sign an unlawful non-compete clause
- Taking medical and/or family leave
- Refusing to enter an unsafe workplace
- Taking the time to vote
- Family or marital status
- Demanding lunch breaks, rest breaks, or overtime
What other conditions could exist that constitute wrongful termination?
If an employment contract has a specified term ( for instance a certain length, number of years, etc.) or certain conditions that are to be met and that contract is breached, (for example if the worker is fired before the specified conditions or terms are not met) this can give allowance to a wrongful termination claim and should be investigated by a wrongful termination attorney.
An implied contract between an employee and the employer can also prevent unjust firing. These can be informal implied contracts and will be up to the court to decide if such a condition existed. The court bases this decision on a variety of factors including the employer’s policies, performance evaluations of the employee, promises of job security, and employee handbook. Tell your wrongful termination attorneys if you believe you have an implied contract with your employer.
Constructive Wrongful Termination
“Constructive wrongful termination” is another form of wrongful termination. This is when an employee is driven to quit, rather than be fired because the working conditions are so horrible that he or she is essentially left with no option or forced out. The law states that if conditions or treatment is so severe that a reasonable person could not continue working in the environment any longer, then a worker may quit and can seek damages for the wages lost.
Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy
Finally, in California specifically, employees cannot be fired when the termination is based on a reason that is contrary to public policy. Wrongful termination in violation of public policy is originated as non-statutory, common law tort type of claim that limits California “at will” employment presumption. There are three main reasons for termination that constitute violations of public policy:
- Refusing to violate a law: if an employer tells you to do something which you know to be against the law, and you refuse, you cannot be fired for refusing to break the law.
- Performing a legal obligation: if you are legally required to do something, your employer may not terminate or otherwise discipline you for obeying the law.
- Exercising a legal or constitutional right: if you have a legal right to engage in a certain type of activity (political association, free speech, etc.) your employer may not terminate or otherwise discipline you for engaging in that activity.
Have you been a victim of wrongful termination?
Issues regarding wrongful termination can be highly complex and many specific facts and certain information may come into play. If you feel you have been a victim of wrongful termination, you can rely on the California wrongful termination lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley to evaluate your claim and provide alternative courses of action. We have gotten successful verdicts in facets of employment law including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, denied overtime and denied rest periods, lost overtime wages and more.
Although you might have been wrongfully terminated, your employer may not react without you filing a wrongful termination suit. When you file a wrongful termination lawsuit, the employer may want to settle out of court, which, if agreeable to you, would effectively end the lawsuit, or you might end up in court. Consult with your employment attorney to find the best course of action for your particular case.
Other than a court, another method of seeking justice is to have the case arbitrated. In fact, if you have signed a mandatory arbitration agreement as part of your employment, you may be required to do this rather than court. Although an employment lawyer isn’t necessary for arbitration, it is a good idea and is, in fact, the recommendation of the American Arbitration Association.
Regardless of what method you do, it is important that you act in a timely manner by consulting wrongful termination lawyers to figure out the best way to remedy your situation. Kingsley & Kingsley’s employment lawyers have considerable experience in this area of employment law and have filed countless claims against employers for wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment. Take advantage of a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case by calling the toll free number (888) 500-8469 or clicking here to contact us regarding your case.