Irvine Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Nobody likes getting fired. In many cases, there is nothing you can do about it. After all, California is an “at-will” employment state. This means that in most cases, if you do not have a written employment contract, the employer is free to terminate you at any time without penalty.
But there are certain reasons for which an employer cannot fire you as a matter of law. In those situations you may have a valid claim against your employer for monetary compensation and other damages. A qualified Irvine wrongful termination lawyer can review your situation and help you decide if you have a case. At The Garza Firm, we represent many individuals who have been illegally fired from their jobs and are now seeking justice against their former employer.
When Is Firing an Employee Illegal in California?
Again, it is important to emphasize that in most cases, an employer can fire you for any reason–or even no stated reason at all. If you bring a wrongful termination claim, the burden is on you to prove that the employer acted for an illegal reason. Some of the more common grounds for bringing a wrongful termination lawsuit include:
- Discrimination – Numerous California and federal laws define certain protected characteristics and classes when it comes to employment. For example, an employer cannot fire you because of your race, sex, or gender. California law goes so far as to even protect you from termination based on political activities or affiliations.
- Labor organizing – You cannot be fired because you choose to participate in union or similar labor organizing activities. Many employers nevertheless take such actions because they believe it will discourage unionization.
- Whistleblowing – If you have evidence that your employer is engaged in some sort of illegal activity, you cannot be fired for reporting what you know to your supervisor or a government or law enforcement agency. Similarly, you cannot be legally fired for refusing to participate in any illegal activity.
- Express or implied contract – If you do have an employment contract, it might specify the conditions under which you can be terminated or whether you are entitled to certain benefits such as severance pay. In many cases an employer may create an “implied” contract by providing you with an employee handbook that lists the reasons that you can be terminated.
- Retaliation – An employer cannot fire you for exercising a legal right, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- Layoffs – California law typically requires employers to provide 60 days’ notice before conducting a mass layoff–50 or more workers–or closing or relocating a facility. If you did not receive such notice, you could sue for any wages and benefits for the amount of time the notice fell short.
Contact The Garza Firm Today
Proving wrongful termination is often tricky because employers will often not overtly admit they are firing you for an illegal reason. That is why it is important to engage a qualified Irvine wrongful termination lawyer as soon as possible after you have been fired. If you need to speak with an attorney right away, contact The Garza Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.