|Wrongful Termination Laws in California|
If you have been fired or have been laid off along with your other co-workers, you might be thinking if you are entitled to file any legal claims against the employer or company that employed you. For the most part, unfortunately, a terminated employee does not have any course of legal action against his or her employer, especially when taking into account the fact that most employees are considered “at will.” This means that they can be fired at any time and for any reason, so long as the basis for doing so is not illegal.
But then, “at will” employees still are entitled to their own rights. To begin with, the “at will” approach in employment has its exceptions. One typical exception to the rule is that an “at will” employee cannot be terminated based solely on his or her protected characteristic as defined by the prevailing anti-discrimination laws. If, however, the employer does so, then the employee is said to be wrongfully terminated. If you believe this happened to you, then you must exercise your rights as an employee. You need to establish a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer, but before you could do so, you must first speak with an attorney who specializes in employer-employee disputes.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting and discussing what wrongful termination is. Basically, it comes in a lot of forms, and most of the time, they are carried out on the basis of one’s race, sex, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic as defined by the federal and state laws. It is also carried out in retaliation to the employee’s complaint of an employer or co-worker’s illegal conduct, such as harassment, workplace safety, labor law violations, and discrimination, among other things.
Also, unlawful discharge is illegal if the reason for carrying the decision out is based on what society thinks as morally wrong. This is also known as termination in violation of public policy. For instance, you are wrongfully fired in violation of public policy if it was based on you exercising a legal right such as serving jury duty or voting, reporting your employer’s illegal conduct to a government agency, or refusing to follow your employer’s orders to commit an illegal act.
As what has been already mentioned above, it is important that you hire an attorney who knows everything about wrongful termination law. Basically, your attorney will evaluate the facts of your case, and determine if you truly are entitled to file claims against your employer. Also, your lawyer will also determine the best course of legal action to take with regards your case.
A typical course of action is to have your case settled via an out-of-court settlement, wherein your employer will compensate you for the losses you incurred as a result of the ordeal you went through. Another course of action is by filing a lawsuit with the state or federal court, especially if the circumstances which led to your wrongful discharge are too grave and an out-of-court settlement is not enough. A court proceeding may also occur if the employer and your attorney wasn't able to come up with a settlement, and instead the former opted to have the case settled in court. Another scenario is that instead of filing a case, you are offered a severance package, which, if signed, waives your right to sue or file claims against your employer.
In any of these possibilities, you need to make sure if you truly have a strong claim against your employer. Hiring a wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles should be your top priority in situations like this.