California is an “at will” employment state, which means that both employees and employers can terminate employment at any time without providing notice or reason. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to employers cutting employees loose without much preparation. Regardless of if you were fired or laid off due to non-performance related issues, being let go from your job is rarely a pleasant experience. If the reason for termination conflicts with employment laws, you may be a victim of unlawful and wrongful termination. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, call Mesriani Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss how to recover any damages from being wrongfully terminated.
Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- 1. Wrongful Termination Lawyer
- 2. How a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help
- 3. Why Choose Mesriani Law Group?
- 4. What Qualifies as Wrongful Termination?
- 5. Steps to Take if You Were Wrongfully Terminated
William J. Kropach, Esq.
How a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help
Mesriani Law Group has a team of experienced wrongful termination lawyers who can help fight for you in your wrongful termination case. This is extremely important because wrongful termination cases are complex and can be extremely difficult to navigate and prove. Having our team of lawyers on your side can:
- Help build your case
- Collect evidence
- Navigate the discovery process
- Analyze the facts
- Fight for your rights
- Look out for your best interest
- Negotiate the settlement you deserve
- Go to trial
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group?
What Qualifies as Wrongful Termination?
If your termination from your job is not a result of poor performance or unruly behavior, then you may be a victim of illegal dismissal. There are several reasons that would qualify as wrongful termination under California law:
California’s “at will” stance on employment gives employers the right to revoke employment to anyone at any time for any reason including no reason at all. If a written contract exists that negates an employee’s “at will” status, then employers can be held accountable for wrongful termination if they break that contract under circumstances outside the parameters of the contract.
Employment Law Violation
Employers are also prohibited from terminating employees for reasons that conflict with existing employment laws. This means that termination as an act of retaliation for whistleblowing or sexual harassment complaints can be fought and won in a wrongful termination case.
Discrimination against a protected class qualifies as another employment law violation that could warrant a wrongful termination designation if determined to be the reason for termination. Those protected classes include:
- Sex / gender identity
- Nation of origin
- Sexual orientation
- Marital / familial status
If your employer does not terminate you but creates an intolerable working environment that leaves you with no real choice but to resign, then you may be a victim of coerced or forced resignation. Under California law, forced resignation is considered as “constructive” dismissal, which means that resignation wasn’t voluntary and can be regarded as termination.
Steps to Take if You Were Wrongfully Terminated
The actions someone takes after being terminated can make all the difference in a wrongful termination claim. Be sure to act carefully so you don’t lose any evidence or ruin your chance of winning your wrongful termination lawsuit. The following actions are integral to your claim’s success:
- First off, remain calm: Being fired is never pleasant and is usually very stressful. Lashing out verbally or physically or doing anything else to jeopardize your reputation or your livelihood is never recommended. Stay calm and composed so you don’t let emotions get the best of you.
- Document everything: This step requires that you receive your termination notice and reason in writing as well as collect any history of emails, conversations, texts, incident reports, reviews, etc. This will help identify the reason for termination as well as create a timeline of documentation.
- Write out your version of the events: Our memories are not as reliable as you would think so it is extremely important to write down the events and details that occur leading up to termination. This information should include dates, names of parties involved, incidents, etc.
- Stay away from social media: It is absolutely critical that social media is not used to display anything related to the wrongful termination case or anything that could jeopardize your character. Social media can and will be used to help sway a court against you in a lawsuit.
- Retain a wrongful termination lawyer immediately: Be sure to retain a wrongful termination lawyer because employers almost always have an attorney and other resources available to them. Wrongful termination cases can be difficult to prove without an experienced lawyer to help collect evidence like personnel files, performance reviews, discipline reports, incident documentation, and harassment & discrimination complaints. They will also help write a formal complaint that will be submitted to your employer.
If Your Employer Acted in Bad Faith
When an employer treats you unfairly and puts you in a position where you are negatively impacted, you might be able to claim breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing. This is where wrongful termination cases can get complicated. A few examples of employers acting in bad faith include:
- Transferring an employee out of spite to cut their sales and reduce commissions or to encourage them to quit
- Terminating employment with the intent of replacing an employee with a cheaper alternative
- Misleading or not clearly describing critical elements of the job like travel requirements, working weekends, and possibility of promotion during the hiring process
These situations can become difficult to navigate without the expertise of a wrongful termination attorney. Calling Mesriani Law Group will help get you a consultation to determine if you have a wrongful termination case.
If Your Employer Violated Public Policy
There are employment laws designed to protect employees which prevent employers from violating public policy when terminating an employee. There are several circumstances in which public policy protects employees:
- Jury duty summons requires that employers provide time to serve on a jury if selected
- Voting is a civic duty that requires time off without repercussion
- Being active or reserve duty military on deployment requires extended leaves of absence
- Retaliation for whistleblowing or filing a formal complaint for sexual harassment or misconduct is illegal
- Discrimination against a protected class is prohibited
If an employer violates any of the above-described situations, there is an extremely strong case for wrongful termination. You should call Mesriani Law Group to get an experienced wrongful termination attorney on your team to guide you through the steps necessary to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
If Your Employer Discriminated Against You
If getting fired is determined to be an act of discrimination against a protected class, then there is a strong case for wrongful termination. Any unfair treatment towards someone’s gender/orientation, race, religion, age, disability, family status, or sexual preference is deemed illegal by federal and California law. If discriminated against, employees must file a formal complaint with the state agency before filing any kind of lawsuit against an employer.
If Your Employer Retaliated Against You
When an employer decides to terminate employment in response to an employee whistleblowing or filing a formal complaint for misconduct, they have broken employment laws designed specifically to protect whistleblowers. These laws were made to prevent unfair treatment, discrimination, harassment, and termination in the event an individual with access to information comes forward with reports of extreme waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, or danger to public health. If you have been a victim of workplace retaliation from an employer, you should call Mesriani Law Group so an experienced wrongful termination lawyer can help you navigate the lawsuit that you will become part of.
If Your Employer Committed Fraud
There are certain situations that qualify as fraud if an employee is hired under false pretenses. When recruiters or hiring managers promise different pay, hours, demand travel, or misrepresent the job description, they and the company are committing fraud. These actions can cause an employee to incur expenses related to starting a new job only to be forced to quit because the job did not match the expectations set during hiring. If losses were incurred and there is evidence that your employer hired you under false pretenses by misrepresenting the job, then the employee may have a case of wrongful termination. The most difficult part about this is proving that the employer intentionally hired an employee with the intention of committing fraud. Calling an experienced wrongful termination attorney at Mesriani Law Group will help secure the evidence needed to prove intent.
Damages in a Wrongful Termination Case
Wrongful termination can hold an employer accountable if they are determined to be liable for losses caused by the termination. Damages will generally fall under 2 categories:
The first thing that is fought for in wrongful termination cases, is the back pay owed due to being fired. This generally accounts for salary / hourly wages, overtime, bonuses, and any other compensation that was originally agreed upon during hiring. If an employee finds alternative employment at the same or higher rate than the job that fired them, their winnings may be reduced due to no real hardship being incurred. If an employee gets hired by another company at less the rate of the original employment that wrongfully terminated them, then they can sue for the difference between the 2 jobs to ensure that they earn what you were originally entitled to.
In addition to back pay, employees who are wrongfully terminated are also able to claim repayment for lost benefits. This includes medical / dental insurance, 401k, stock options, and any other monetary or non-monetary compensation that was agreed upon prior to employment.
How You Can Afford Quality Representation
Hiring a lawyer when you have been wrongfully terminated should never be a financial burden on an employee when they are unable to afford legal services. Mesriani Law Group offers a “no win, no fee” policy that ensures that our team is paid only after damages are awarded. In addition to that guarantee, we also offer free no risk consultation that gives our team the opportunity to hear your case without any commitment to payment.
Contacting Mesriani Law Group as Soon as Possible
Our team of lawyers at Mesriani Law Group are experienced wrongful termination lawyers. Call us at (866) 500-7070 to schedule a free consultation. You can also submit the details of your case via our online submission form and a wrongful termination lawyer will reach out immediately to discuss if you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Call today so we can represent you and get you the compensation you deserve!
Wrongful Termination Lawyer FAQS
Is it hard to prove wrongful termination?
- Wrongful termination is usually a complex problem that can be difficult to prove without the right evidence and documentation. There are some situations like breaking public policy that are more blatant when determining wrongful termination but other situations like acting in bad faith can be much more difficult to prove.
What qualifies as wrongful termination in California?
- Wrongful termination is when a boss, manager, or employer terminates an employee for reasons that conflict with existing employment laws. This can be due to discrimination, retaliation, breaking public policy, or acting in bad faith.
Can I sue for being wrongfully terminated?
- Not every termination is illegal but if employment laws were broken during the firing process, then there is a strong case against your employer for wrongful termination.
How much are wrongful termination cases worth?
- Compensation from a wrongful termination case largely depends on factors like what was promised originally in the employment contract. This means that damages can vary widely depending on how much an employee was previously paid w/ benefits included.