3 Important Things You Can Do If You Suspect Wrongful Termination
Wrongful termination can be devastating. Losing your job can leave your household struggling financially, and it may also harm your professional reputation. If you think you have been wrongfully terminated in California, you may be able to take legal action.
Proving wrongful termination can be challenging. Under California employment laws, employers can fire workers “at will,” which means that they can fire workers for any reason and without warning, as long as they are not terminating the employees for illegal reasons.
It is illegal to terminate workers because of their:
- National origin
- Demand for overtime pay
- Filing a safety violation report with OSHA
- Request for pregnancy leave
- Request for family medical leave
- Refusal to sign an unlawful non-compete clause
- Notice to perform jury duty
In the eyes of the law, wrongful termination is a situation in which an employer fires a worker for any of the above unlawful reasons. Wrongful termination can also involve retaliation, discrimination, or a violation of an employment contract.
The legal process for proving wrongful termination can be long and complex. In some cases, the worker must prove their employer’s intent or establish that the firing was illegal.
Do You Think You Have been Wrongfully Terminated? Here’s 3 Important Things You Can Do
Establish the reason for your termination, if possible
In at-will employment situations, employers do not have to give a reason for terminating an employee. However, employers will often provide a reason to substantiate their decision in the event an ex-employee files a wrongful termination claim.
Even if you left your job willingly, it may still be a case of wrongful termination if your employer forced you out; legal professionals refer to this as constructive discharge.
2. Gather relevant documents
When presenting a wrongful termination case, you need to prove that you were terminated for unlawful reasons. Even if your employer had 2 reasons for firing you – one lawful and one unlawful – you may still have a strong claim, but only if you can prove it.
Collect any documents that can prove that your termination was unlawful. This documentation might include handbooks that detail company policy, emails or text messages, and performance reviews. If you were fired for having a disability, collect any documents that show your employer was aware of your disability. Documentation in the form of a formal contract might also prove that you are not an at-will employee or state that you can only be terminated for a good cause or for reasons laid out in that contract.
3. Move quickly
For most wrongful termination lawsuits in California, you must file your claim within 2 years, sometimes 3 years of your termination. Also, the sooner you act, the fresher the information will be in your mind. Having the right documents and details could make or break your case.
Do You Suspect Wrongful Termination? Contact Your Employment Lawyer at D.Law
If you think you were wrongly terminated, consult with D.Law. We focus exclusively on employment law, protecting the rights of workers just like you who are fighting wrongful termination in the Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, and other California cities. Give us a call at (818) 275-5799.