Wrongful Termination

Orange County Wrongful Termination Lawyer

California Wrongful Termination Laws

Are you an employee who has recently been laid off or fired for unlawful reasons? You may have the right to file a legal claim against your employer for wrongful termination. There are laws protecting employees from being fired or "terminated" due to discrimination and other illegal employer practices. These laws also ensure that terminated employees receive appropriate severance packages that include adequate compensation for their unexpected loss of income.

Act now if you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer. Get in touch with an experienced Orange County wrongful termination attorney who can help you determine the best legal action to take against your employer.

What Is Wrongful Termination in California?

"Wrongful termination" is a legal term to describe when an employer fires or lays off an employee for unlawful reasons. Illegal reasons for termination include firing someone:

  • As a form of discrimination
  • As a form of sexual harassment
  • In violation of oral and written employment agreements
  • In violation of labor laws
  • In retaliation against whistleblowing or a valid employee complaint

When an employer wrongfully terminates an employee, they could face statutory penalties. Other cases will result in the employer paying damages to the terminated employee for their lost wages and other expenses resulting from the wrongful loss of their job. Some wrongful termination cases could even result in punitive damages for the employer.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

The Civil Rights Act provides the minimum protections for workers across the country. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces these laws. However, states have the right to enforce more strict labor laws in addition to these federal laws. In our state, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides such extra protections for California employees. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the agency that administers these laws.

The FEHA protects full-time and part-time employees from discrimination, retaliation and harassment in the workplace. To learn more about these protections, you should consult an Orange County wrongful termination lawyer who can help you pursue your rightful compensation.

What Rights Do You Have as an Employee?

As an employee, you have the right to:

  • Receive compensation equal to the work you performed (equal pay for equal work).
  • Receive reasonable accommodations for your medical conditions or religious beliefs, when required by law.
  • Expect confidentiality in regard to any medical or genetic information you share with your employer.
  • Not be harassed for your race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, genes or age.
  • Report or participate in the investigation of, or the opposition to, discrimination without being retaliated against or punished for doing so.

What Do You Do After Termination?

If your employer terminates you, ask for a detailed explanation of why. Write down as much as you can. Start gathering evidence regarding your termination immediately. Contact an Orange County wrongful termination lawyer as well. This employment attorney will be able to help you secure even more evidence from your employer, file complaints with the appropriate agencies, and keep you informed of your rights as a worker. Pursuing a wrongful termination claim can be a complex process, but you do not have to go into it alone.

What Is the Average Settlement for Wrongful Termination in California?

Every wrongful termination case is unique, and that means the results of those claims can vary. Those who file a successful wrongful termination claim can receive a settlement or award between $5,000 to $100,000 or more. However, the average size of a settlement in California is around $40,000 or around $45,000 for cases that go to trial (XCELHR). These numbers do not guarantee that you will receive a settlement or an award of this particular size. 

Do I Have a Wrongful Termination Case?

You have cause to file a wrongful termination case if you were fired for illegal reasons. In most instances of wrongful termination, the employer will claim a lawful reason for firing an employee. You must prove that their reason for termination is false and that you were actually fired for an unlawful reason such as retaliation or discrimination. You may also have a case if you can prove that your former employer breached a contract with you by terminating your employment, or if that employer broke public policy by firing you.

Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?

If you wish to file a wrongful termination claim in California, your employer must have:

  • Breached your employment contract.
  • Violated a public policy.
  • Broken an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

An experienced wrongful termination attorney will be able to guide you through the process of finding evidence to prove one of these violations.

How Do You Determine if You Were Wrongfully Terminated?

Figuring out if you were wrongfully terminated can be a detailed process where you examine several situations to determine if any of them match your circumstances. To begin, review your employment contract. Did your employer violate any of the terms or conditions stated therein?

Review how you were treated in the final days and weeks of your employment. Did you stand up to a superior on an issue of discrimination? Did you report someone for violating company or public policy?

If you were the subject of harassment or bullying before your termination, that could be the real reason for your dismissal as well. Take note of any related incidents.

If you suspect that your disability may have been reason for your dismissal, can you point to the reasons for your suspicion? Be aware that your employer may try to defame your reputation or accuse you of doing a poor job. If you did your work well and handled yourself in a professional manner, you will need to prove it. Once again, an experienced employment attorney can help you find the evidence you need to prove that you were wrongfully terminated.

Common Mistakes People Make After Wrongful Termination

After being wrongfully terminated, employees can inadvertently harm their potential case or legal stance through various missteps. It's crucial to be aware of these common errors:

  • Not Collecting Sufficient Documentation: Failing to gather comprehensive documents related to your termination and employment can weaken your case. Important documents include emails, performance reviews, termination letters, and any relevant communication with your employer.
  • Signing Agreements Without Understanding the Implications: Often, employers may offer a severance package that requires signing a release or non-disparagement agreement. Accepting and signing without consulting a lawyer might waive your rights to pursue legal action for wrongful termination.
  • Waiting Too Long to Take Action: There are strict time frames, known as statutes of limitations, within which you must file a complaint. Waiting too long can result in losing the opportunity to seek justice and compensation.
  • Publicly Discussing Your Case: Sharing details about your case on social media platforms or with colleagues can backfire. Public statements can be used against you in your case, potentially damaging your credibility and legal standing.
  • Attempting to Navigate the Legal Process Alone: The legal complexities surrounding wrongful termination cases make it challenging to represent yourself effectively. An experienced wrongful termination attorney can provide the guidance and representation needed to pursue your claim successfully.

Avoiding these mistakes can significantly impact the outcome of your wrongful termination case, potentially leading to a more favorable resolution.

Why You Need a Wrongful Termination Attorney in Orange County

There are several things to keep in mind when searching for an employment lawyer for wrongful termination:

  • How long has the attorney practiced law?
  • How much experience does he or she have representing cases like yours?
  • Will the attorney give you the personalized service you deserve?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the attorney?
  • How successful has the attorney been in representing wrongful termination cases?
  • Is the attorney well respected by local judges and attorneys?

Harris Grombchevsky LLP has represented Southern Californians in employment law and other matters for many years. Our extensive experience allows our lawyers to provide quality representation that our clients need when taking legal action against their employers. Our team understands how difficult the decision can be to file a claim against your employer. That's why we will ensure that you are well-informed and we will help you to make decisions that protect your best interests.

Consult a Trusted Orange County Employment Lawyer

Harris Grombchevsky LLP is recognized by local judges and attorneys. When you hire our firm, you will receive the aggressive legal advocates you need and the personal service you deserve. We pride ourselves on prioritizing our clients and work hard to represent our clients with the highest of ethical standards.

Have you been wrongfully terminated? Are you unsure of what to do? Call (888) 427-8064! Our Orange County wrongful termination attorneys are ready to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your situation. We proudly serve clients throughout Orange County and Los Angeles County.


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