When to Sue for Wrongful Termination in California

when to sue for wrongful termination

Being fired can be an extremely stressful experience. Not only can it be infuriating, it can also throw your life into financial turmoil. However, not every termination is justified.

Sometimes employers break California law when they let employees go. If that is the case, you can seek justice in a court of law. Below are some instances you should know about California law to help you decide when to sue for wrongful termination.

Employers in California Must Follow Their Own Rules

It is true that California is an “at will” state in regards to employment. This means either the employer or the employee has the ability to end the relationship. This is typically the case unless an employment contract is introduced.

However, this general rule changes under certain circumstances. If an employer introduces codes of conduct in an employee handbook or some other form of documentation, California courts expect the employer to follow its own rules as if they were a binding contract. If there are policies in place for employee discipline, termination, etc. and the employer doesn’t follow those rules, a wrongful termination in California can be proven.

Good Cause

Another legal principal in California that can supersede at will employment under certain circumstances is known as “good cause.” Good cause can come into play when an employer makes assurances verbally to an employee that they will stay employed with the company.

If a termination occurs, good cause must be demonstrated. Good cause can be defined as a good or honest reason for the termination. It must not seem arbitrary, spiteful or trivial. The justification must be related to the business’s goals or needs in some concrete way.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act

One law that is very important in California in regards to wrongful termination is the Fair Employment and Housing Act, often referred to as FEHA for short. This California law is designed to protect tenants, home buyers and employees who are discriminated against due to bias.

This law protects California citizens from being fired because of their disability, race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, country of origin and more. Employees are protected from being fired because of their age if they are over 40 years old. It also protects individuals from being fired for certain medical conditions including pregnancy and mental disabilities. It also protects employees from being fired in retaliation for whistle blowing.

What do Statistics Show?

In 2014, over 6,000 claims of wrongful termination were filed in California. That accounts for over 7 percent of all wrongful termination claims in the United States. On average, over 50 percent of claimants win in court. Winning is very possible. However, you should obtain legal advice to determine whether or not you should submit a complaint of wrongful termination with the state government.

Overall, if you believe you have been unfairly terminated by your employer, you need the skills of a seasoned attorney. To find the best LA lawyer possible, contact A&T Legal Group. We have years of experience with employment law and fighting for the rights of California workers like yourself.




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