Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Learn about your California employee rights when you're wrongfully terminated in San Fernando Valley California.
Wrongful termination in California takes place when for unlawful reasons, an employee is dismissed from his or her work. In California, employees are deemed to be at-will jobs. This implies that at any moment, for any cause, including for no reason at all, either the worker or the company may terminate the job. The only caveat is that the justification must not be illegal for the termination of employment. If your employer breaks the law, you must consult with a pre-screened wrongful termination attorney.
Have you been wrongfully terminated in San Fernando Valley?
Examples of unlawful reasons for firing an employee that may be considered unjust or wrongful termination include:
Discrimination: When individuals are dismissed or handled differently because they belong to a protected class, work discrimination exists. Categories covered include race or color, national origin, gender or sex, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, and sexual orientation.
Retaliation: This is called wrongful termination if an employee is dismissed in retaliation for filing a lawsuit against his employer. It is a protected activity to file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and your employer will not legally terminate your employment for that reason.
The Family and Medical Leave Act: The Family or Medical Leave allows some employers to provide their workers with the requisite unpaid leave so that they can care for family members who are ill, care for newborn children, etc. It may be deemed unconstitutional if an employer fires an employee who takes time off for reasons protected by the FMLA.
Specifically, in California, they are deemed to be at-will workers unless an employee signs an employment contract that details a particular period of employment. As such, their employer can, for any cause, terminate their employment at any time as long as the reason is not unlawful. California acknowledges the following as illegal causes of termination, in addition to the above cases of unjust or wrongful termination:
Victims of stalking or domestic violence;
Status of military or veterans;
Constructive termination, which happens when terms of employment are so unbearable or precarious that the worker is forced to resign;
Status of AIDS/HIV; or
"Violations of Staff Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN"). The Alert Act provides staff with protection by requiring individual employers to have a sixty-day notice of mass layoffs.
In general, most wrongful termination in California are cases of discrimination that are brought under the Equal Jobs and Housing Act of California. In California, revenge against an employer for breaking the Labor Code is another typical scenario.
What's the statute of limitations in California for wrongful termination?
The term' limitations statute' applies to statutes that prescribe the amount of time a person has to file a civil lawsuit. The word may also apply to the amount of time that a prosecutor is required to file a defendant's criminal complaint. A statute of limitations aims to shield defendants from untimely litigation and ensure that in pursuing legitimate and timely grievances, complainants practice due diligence. Each state has its concept of what a timely filing of a complaint is considered to be.
The statute of limitations in California for wrongful termination varies depending on the form of the brought case. If as determined by the statute of limitations, a lawsuit is not made within the allotted time the case would possibly be dismissed. An exception can be made, however, if there are serious factors involved.
Such examples of statutes of limitations for wrongful termination in California include:
In breach of public policy, two years after the dismissal for wrongful termination. This implies two years from the date on which the worker was fired for taking part in a protected activity;
Within one year of termination, unfair termination due to discrimination or abuse first needs a lawsuit to be made to the Department of Equal Jobs and Housing ('DFEH'). If the DFEH in unable to resolve the claim or issues a right to sue notice, a claim may be lodged in state court for up to ninety days after the DFEH has ruled; or if the DFEH fails to resolve the claim, a wrongful termination claim may be filed in the Los Angeles county court for up to ninety days.
Within two years of an oral or implied contract being breached, or within four years of a written contract being breached.
How do I prove a wrongful termination case in California, and what is my first step?
Proving wrongful termination in California relies on what kind of wrongful termination you have witnessed. Each type has its own set of variables that have to be established. The most common things you would need to show are that there was an employment contract, that the employer terminated the job, or that the job was terminated constructively. In particular unfair termination proceedings, other reasons that you will need to show include:
Public Policy Cases: For one of the four covered reasons, the employee would need to show that the employer dismissed them:
To fail to break a statute;
Doing a legislative duty;
Exercising a right under constitutional law; or
To disclose a legislative breach for the good of the public;
Cases of Discrimination: The worker would have to show that their protected status is involved. They would also need to prove that bigotry, as opposed to being inconsequential to the dismissal, was the driving factor in their termination.
Harassment cases: The worker would need to show that the employee's objection to being harassed was the driving reason for termination; or
Breach of Contract Cases: Workers will need to show that their job has been terminated in breach of their employment contract, written corporate policy, or terms of the labor union.
Filing a pre-complaint inquiry with the California Department of Equal Employment and Housing is the first step in taking unfair termination proceedings for discrimination, abuse, or retaliation cases. You may ask the DFEH to investigate the unfair termination allegation and settle it or request a notice of the right to sue. A right of notice to sue requires the allegation to be brought to court. Application forms can both be completed and filed on the DFEH website.
A breach of contract of public policy requires a lawsuit to be lodged in a proper state court. You will need to state the applicable claims within the claim and file your case within California's statute of limitations. Both adverse parties must be represented under the California Rules of Civil Procedure after the lawsuit has been filed.
For assistance with wrongful termination, do I need a California Employment Attorney?
As can be seen, it can be hard to prove wrongful termination charges and require several subsequent legal steps. Also, you must be mindful of the statutes of limitations of California. Therefore, working with a professional and experienced California wrongful termination lawyer in San Fernando Valley will be in your best interest.
An experienced California employment lawyer specialized in wrongful termination will inform you of California's unique job laws and procedures and ensure that you file the correct paperwork. Also, they can assist in providing evidence and, if appropriate, represent you in court.
How Do I Request An Unbiased Referral To A Pre-Screened, Ethical Wrongful Termination Attorney In San Fernando Valley?
You can submit a request online 24 hours a day. Free case review within 15 minutes.
By calling the 24-hour lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999