Losing your job is always devastating. This is true even if you work a so-called "white collar" job with a solid salary and benefits. And it's especially true if you're supporting a family where unexpected expenses can arise with almost predictable regularity.
While losing your job for any reason can be shocking, it is particularly frustrating to lose your job as a result of illegal considerations that have nothing to do with your actual performance. Our South Bay & Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can help if you're the victim of a biased decision-making process.
Employment law should protect innocent people like you. You might have worked for a huge company with extraordinary financial resources, but our lawyers won't be intimidated. We have a proven track record of success in wrongful termination cases.
If you need an experienced wrongful termination lawyer in or around the South Bay area of, California, please call Kirtland & Packard, LLP today at 310-536-1000 for a free consultation.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Termination?
In the United States, most employment is "at will." This means there's no contract binding employee to employer and vice versa – you simply work for your employer until either party decides to end the relationship. For any reason. This provides employers with quite a bit of freedom to make personnel decisions.
Courts are traditionally reluctant to step in and regulate these decisions – no one wants an arrangement where every decision to fire an employee has to be approved by a governmental body, but this does not mean that employers have complete freedom to dispose of employees as they see fit. California has passed several laws which regulate when it's legal to fire a worker, and terminating an employee in violation of public policy can open a company to severe liability.
Under California law, you cannot be fired for:
- Race or ethnicity
- Country of origin
- Gender or gender identification
- Sexual orientation or expression
- Union activity
- Political affiliation
- Serving on a jury or in the National Guard
- Taking time off to vote
In short, being terminated for nearly anything that is not job-related can qualify as a wrongful dismissal. If you suspect you have been fired illegally, it is important that you take swift action. Waiting to file a claim can make proving wrongful termination much more difficult.
What are the Five Fair Reasons for Dismissal?
There are sometimes good reasons to let an employee go. In the business world, these typically fall under the “Five Fair Reasons for Dismissal,” which are:
- Capability or performance issues
- Statutory illegality or breach of a statutory restriction
- Some other substantial reason (SOSR)
SOSR is a relatively vague term that could be interpreted to mean a number of different things. If you have been terminated and you do not believe it was for one of the reasons above, taking time to talk to an attorney is the best option. This visit should be free of cost and obligation, providing you the opportunity to assess your options without making a firm commitment to a particular firm until you are ready to proceed.
Many employees are unaware of their legal rights, a fact which companies often exploit. And the theory of the law is often overwhelmed by the significant power imbalances between employer and employee. Having a lawyer balances this power and helps ensure that you are not marginalized or ignored.
Is it Hard to Prove Wrongful Termination?
Proving that an employer acted illegally while making a decision to hire, fire, promote, or demote an employee is difficult. Most employers are aware of the law and some may try to manipulate the situation to make it appear as if everything is on the up and up. This is one of the many reasons you need a seasoned wrongful termination attorney on your side.
Many employers who engage in these actions pick from the same bag of tricks. Having a lawyer on your side who knows these tricks – and exactly how to respond to them – is one of the surest ways to make sure your story is heard and justice is served.
As the victim of wrongful termination, you can pursue compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Were you wrongfully terminated? It's impossible to say without engaging in a thorough, comprehensive and open conversation with our wrongful termination lawyers. We'll listen to your story and help you decide whether or not you have a claim under California law.
How Much Does a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Cost?
Nearly all wrongful termination lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney will not be paid unless you secure damages. The cost of your attorney will be dependent on the settlement or verdict you receive. Your attorney's rate and any additional fees should be agreed upon and put into a contact prior to starting your claim. This helps ensure you are aware of legal costs prior to beginning you case.
Wrongfully Terminated? We Can Help.
If you lost your job in the Redondo Beach area of California and you think the decision might have been motivated by illegal considerations, we encourage you to speak with our wrongful termination lawyers and learn about your right. Please call Kirtland & Packard at 310-536-1000 to scheudle your consultation today.