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How Much Can You Get For Suing Your Employer For Wrongful Termination In California?

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Estimating Potential Damages For Wrongful Termination Claims In Los Angeles

Employment lawsuit settlements and damages arising from California wrongful termination lawsuits vary depending on the following factors:

  • The employment law violated by your employer

  • What happened in your case

  • The effects of the violation of your employment rights

Additionally, damages and compensation may not be limited to monetary awards. For example, some cases end with a demoted or terminated employee getting their job or position back.


Damages and settlements are to compensate an employee for their losses. In the case of a wrongful termination lawsuit, the goal is to get an employee back to a point before their employment rights are violated.

That said, let's look at all the possible damages you may receive and who is made to pay those damages for wrongful termination in California:


A Brief Intro To Wrongful Termination In California

As outlined in California labor law, your boss cannot fire you because of discrimination and violation of employee rights and protected activities.


Discrimination of protected characteristics includes the following:

"Protected activities" fall under the things an employee has the right to do and cannot be punished for by their employers. Their protected activities include:

  • Voting

  • Taking an FMLA leave

  • Getting or filing for workers' comp

  • Taking time off work to serve in the military

  • Applying for re-employment to serve in the military

  • Taking time off work to serve on the jury

  • Becoming a witness or participating in an investigation, even if their employer is the one being investigated

If you're suing an employer for discrimination or violating protected activities, you'll need proof, documents, reports, and a solid case. It's best to consult wrongful termination attorneys in California to ensure the best outcome for your case.


california lawyers for wrongful termination

How Much Can You Get For Suing Your Employer For Wrongful Termination In California?


Depending on your unique facts and circumstances, you may be able to recover a certain amount as "damages" for your wrongful termination case.

That said, here are the common damages successful wrongful termination claims might get in California:


Lost Income, Wages, And Benefits


If an employee wins a wrongful termination lawsuit in California, they are entitled to compensation for lost wages equal to the income they would have received had they not been fired. This also includes other unpaid wages like overtime.


In addition, the value of any benefits the employee could have been eligible to receive during the same period may also be included in this compensation. For example, losses due to the lack of health insurance may also be included in the awardable damages.

Intangible Or Non-Economic Damages


You may be entitled to compensation if you show that you experienced emotional distress or pain and suffering due to wrongful termination.

That said, non-economic damages are much harder to prove than economic damages. After all, no documents or receipts show how gravely you've been suffering emotionally. California lawyers for wrongful termination know this, and they can build a case to help you prove your emotional damages.


Punitive Damages

You could obtain further damages in the form of a fine. With punitive damages in California, the employer will be required to pay for their malicious actions if you can show that the employer acted with malice or fraud.


Punitive damages have two functions:

  1. As a form of punishment to dissuade an employer from doing it again.

  2. As an example to prevent other employers from doing the same thing.

Do note that punitive damages tend to be rare. They're often reserved for only the most egregious acts. They can be difficult to prove unless you have a lot of evidence.


how much can you get for suing your employer

Consult With the Best Wrongful Termination Attorney in California

1000Attorneys is a lawyer referral service operating in California. With a short (and FREE) case review, we could link you up with the best California employment law attorney fit to handle your unique case. In addition, our recommended attorneys are prescreened, so they're all experienced and discipline-free!


Click here to get started!


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