As an employee, you deserve to work in a fair, constructive and encouraging environment. Unfortunately, some employers may terminate you without reason, for illegal reasons or in retaliation. Although California is considered an at-will-employment state, you should be mindful of wrongful termination. If you have been terminated under these conditions, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
If your employer makes your work environment unfit to perform appropriately, you may have experienced Constructive Wrongful Termination. In Constructive Wrongful Termination, your employer makes your work environment intolerable and forces you to quit. Under California law, this is still considered wrongful termination.
Many employees may be selected for layoffs legally. However, some employers may use layoffs to get rid of employees with certain protected characteristics. For example, an employer may select an employee for layoffs who has a costly medical condition. The employer thinks this is a way to cut costs, yet it remains a form of wrongful termination. In these cases, only an outside legal entity, such as a judge or arbitrator, can determine the legality of an employer’s decision.
Other discriminatory wrongful termination causes include termination due to gender, age, medical conditions, disability, use of FMLA, and other protected characteristics.
If you have been terminated for reporting a suspected violation of a statute of public value, you have been wrongfully terminated. The California Supreme Court has identified this as a violation of public employment policy. This type of wrongful termination may arise from simply checking on the legality of a given situation and attempting to correct the issue. Furthermore, you may not need to actually show violation of the law to file a wrongful termination claim.
The laws surrounding when an employee is considered wrongfully terminated can be very complicated. A thorough investigation of the employer's termination practices and rationale may be required. Only an experienced labor attorney can help you sort through California's complex laws.
If you feel you have been unfairly terminated, wrongfully discharged or otherwise wrongfully terminated, please contact our office today. We will review the conditions of your termination and proceed with the best course of action.
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