Every worker in every industry has several legal protections when it comes to beginning and ending employment relationships in California. Like most other US states, almost all employment in California continues “at will,” meaning both the employer and the employee can end the working relationship at any time. There is no legal requirement to give prior notice, though it’s common courtesy to provide two weeks’ notice when you intend to leave a job on good terms. Similarly, an employer has the right to fire an employee with or without prior notice and is not required to give any specific reason.
This may sound like the at-will employment law provides blanket immunity for employers to fire employees whenever they wish for any reason. However, employers may not fire employees for illegal reasons. Wrongful termination occurs whenever an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason, such as unlawful discrimination or in retaliation to the employee’s protected action made in good faith.
If you or a loved one recently lost a job and you believe your employer had a discriminatory basis for the termination, it’s natural to wonder how you can prove this and hold them accountable. But unfortunately, many people who experience unlawful adverse treatment in their workplaces are unaware of the full scope of legal protections that exist for them at the state and federal levels.
The Azadian Law Group, PC, can provide compassionate and responsive legal counsel when you need it most. If you believe your recent termination was wrongful, you must take swift legal action if you hope to hold your employer accountable. Your situation may seem overwhelming, and it can be difficult to see how you can prove wrongful termination in light of California’s at-will employment law. Our team can assist you in gathering any evidence you may need to establish the truth behind your recent termination and hold your employer appropriately accountable.
The justification for the at-will employment statute of California is that it prevents employees from being forced to continue working for an employer when they no longer wish to do so. The employee has the right to leave their job at any time, with or without prior notice or giving a specific reason for leaving. However, employers have similar flexibility and are generally allowed to hire and fire employees at their discretion. When they base these decisions on illegal grounds, they become liable for damages to affected employees.
Many wrongful termination cases filed in San Bernardino and throughout California touch on various other aspects of US employment law. For example, an employee may have faced a prolonged campaign of targeted harassment, including exaggerated negative performance reviews and a hostile work environment that ultimately culminated in their termination. In this situation, the employee would need to prove their employer based the decision to terminate them on a discriminatory reason.
While a wrongful termination can potentially result in various damages, a wrongfully terminated employee typically cannot proceed directly with a lawsuit against their employer after being unlawfully fired. First, they must submit a formal complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the government agency tasked with enforcing the workplace fairness laws of the United States.
Your Burbank wrongful termination attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence you need to substantiate your claim. For example, you may need to prove you were treated differently from others in your workplace due to your personal protected characteristics, such as race, religion, age, sex, or medical status. It is illegal for any employer to fire an employee based on personal characteristics, and you must report such incidents to the EEOC when they occur.
The EEOC will assign an investigator to your case and determine whether your termination was wrongful. If so, they will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue that allows you to proceed with filing a civil lawsuit against your employer to seek compensation for your damages. The EEOC may also assign penalties to employers who knowingly and intentionally violate US workplace fairness laws or those who actively work to conceal discriminatory actions within their organizations.
Navigating the EEOC claim process will be much easier when you have an experienced attorney handling your case. When you choose the Azadian Law Group, PC, to represent you in a wrongful termination claim, our team will carefully review the details of how your termination happened, any correspondence with your employer regarding the termination, and the evidence you can produce showing your termination was likely a violation of US and/or California law.
Our team will help you determine whether you require any other support for your claims, such as statements from co-workers and previous employees from your workplace who can attest to any discriminatory practices from the employer in question. Once we establish the foundation of your EEOC complaint, we’ll help you file and manage any correspondence with EEOC representatives on your behalf.
If the EEOC approves your claim, your case will likely proceed to a private settlement. Most employers seek to resolve these matters as quickly and quietly as possible once they notice the EEOC has sided with a wrongfully terminated employee. Your Burbank wrongful termination lawyer will provide ongoing support and guidance as you navigate the EEOC claim process and subsequent civil claim proceedings.
While most wrongful termination claims in California end in settlement, there is always the chance for a claim to proceed to litigation when it is heavily contested. If your case must go to court, you can rely on the team at the Azadian Law Group, PC, to provide ongoing counsel, preparing you for every courtroom session you must attend until you reach a suitable conclusion to your case. Many of our clients facing wrongful termination claims are unaware of the full scope of their legal rights after losing their jobs on illegal grounds. They are also surprised to learn the total scope of damages they can seek from their employer once they obtain the EEOC’s approval for their claims.
One of the most significant challenges facing those affected by wrongful termination in California is the difficulty of proving the truth behind their experiences. Your Burbank wrongful termination lawyer will review the unique details of your case and help you determine what types of evidence you are likely to need to prove your termination was a violation of US employment law.
The exact value of a wrongful termination case hinges on the economic damages the affected employee sustained, such as lost income and benefits, the costs of looking for new employment, and the cost of hiring legal counsel. The severity of the defendant’s behavior also influences the case’s final outcome. Employees who have been wrongfully terminated often have grounds to claim liquidated damages equal to the amount of economic damages they suffered, and they could also receive punitive damages.
Some wrongful termination claims can be resolved relatively quickly if evidence is readily available, and the defendant is liable for wrongful termination. If liability is contested or the employer attempts to argue the termination was justified, the case may take much longer to resolve. Consult your Burbank wrongful termination attorney for an estimate of the timeframe your case is likely to require.
If successful with their wrongful termination case, the employee can potentially seek compensation for all their economic losses and liquidated or statutory damages. The employer will likely face a host of civil damages they must repay to the plaintiff, and they can face additional fines for breaching California and/or US employment laws pertaining to wrongful termination.
It’s technically possible to file a wrongful termination claim without legal counsel, but doing so would be incredibly challenging in light of the problems your termination has likely caused. Loss of income and the stress of a job search can strain your personal life and household finances in many ways, and working with an experienced attorney will allow you to focus on your everyday needs while your case unfolds in capable hands. In addition, working with an experienced Burbank wrongful termination lawyer is the best strategy after any illegal firing in California.
The Azadian Law Group, PC, understands the frustration and uncertainty that often follows a wrongful termination. You probably have many legal questions about how you can hold your employer accountable and secure compensation for your damages. We are ready to provide the responsive and detail-oriented legal representation you need to ensure accountability for your wrongful termination and secure appropriate compensation for your experiences. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Burbank wrongful termination attorney.