You Have Rights
Losing your job for any reason can be overwhelming, but the stress is amplified if you were terminated for a reason that doesn’t seem fair. If you think you were the victim of wrongful termination in California, you have rights. A top Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer can help you learn more about what constitutes wrongful termination in California and whether you have a valid case.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
“Wrongful termination is a bit of a misnomer. Wrongful termination does not mean unjust or unfair termination – reasons that might seem wrongful to a California employee. Wrongful termination means illegal termination. Illegal termination can take many forms, but fairness or just cause are rarely part of the equation.” ~ Attorney Samvel Setyan
Your employer may wrongfully terminate you if they violate California or federal laws. There are many statutes that may have been violated, but some of the most common examples of unlawful termination include:
- Employment discrimination (including race/color, pregnancy, sex/gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, marital status, or veteran status)
- Retaliation for filing a sexual harassment claim
- Retaliation for reporting the employer for violations of California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA)
- Whistleblower activities or whistleblower retaliation
- Implied contract violations or breach of employment contract by the employer
- Public policy violations by the employer
- Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Workplace Retaliation for reporting an unsafe work environment or OSHA violation
- WARN Act violations by the employer (involving mass layoffs)
- Retaliation for making wage and hour complaints
- Failure to provide legal employee leave, time off, or other benefits required by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other California law and federal law
If an employer fires or lays off an employee for an improper or illegal reason that is against public policy, then they may be responsible for financial damages incurred by the individual.
If you want to discuss your case or ask questions about the legal services offered at Setyan Law, call our law office today at (213)-618-3655.
We have Los Angeles, CA employment lawyers ready to answer your questions.
Helping You Achieve a Positive Outcome for Your Case
A California wrongful termination attorney can help you achieve your goals if you have been the victim of illegal actions by your employer. You may want to put the entire situation behind you and move on as quickly as possible. However, in today’s job market that can be difficult. Sometimes it’s best to file a wrongful termination lawsuit to get what you deserve.
Types of damages that a terminated employee may be able to recover in a California wrongful discharge claim include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Back pay
- Compensation for pain and suffering or emotional distress
- Attorney’s fees and costs of litigation
Additionally, if your employer intentionally violated the law or acted particularly wrongfully, you may be able to get punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the employer for willful violation of the labor code and public policies. It can be difficult to get punitive damages, but with the help of wrongful termination lawyers in California, you will have a better chance of maximizing your total recovery.
Wrongful Termination Case Settlement & Jury Verdicts
Most unlawful termination cases settle out of court. However, some do continue to a jury trial. Regardless of the end outcome, you will need to work with a lawyer who is experienced in communicating with large companies and their powerful teams of attorneys. Your California wrongful termination attorney should be skilled in negotiating, as that will be a primary strategy in working towards a successful settlement that will cover all your losses.
Some of the largest verdicts for victims of wrongful termination in California have included:
- $25,100,000 in 2017 for Babyak v. Cardiovascular Systems
- $21,700,000 in 2013 for Rodriguez v. Valley Vista Services
- $20,000,000 in 2016 for Williams v. Wyndham
- $18,300,000 in 2012 for Ward v. Dr. Pepper
- $18,000,000 in 2012 for Marlo v. UPS
It’s impossible to know exactly how much your wrongful termination case is worth right away, but your attorney will listen to your story and review the evidence. Then, they can help you understand the potential value of a lawsuit in your specific situation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Termination in California
If you have questions about whether you were wrongfully terminated in Los Angeles, CA, you should immediately reach out to a wrongful termination lawyer in Southern California who will have answers and address your concerns.
1. Can I Sue for Wrongful Termination If I Was an “At Will” Employee?
California is an “at will” employment state, which means that employers do not have to provide a reason when they terminate an employee. However, at-will employment is not an excuse for wrongful termination. Employers must still abide by the California labor code and other state and federal laws. If a California employee is fired or laid off for discriminatory reasons, workplace retaliation, or another invalid situation, then the employee can still file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
2. What If I Want to Return to My Job?
In some wrongful termination cases, the employee simply wants to return to their job. You may be able to request restoration of your employment in the same or a similar position within the same company. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a wrongful termination claim and returning to work. By working with a lawyer who is skilled in negotiation, you may have many options to resolve your case.
- How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Discharge Lawsuit?
California laws establish a deadline, or statute of limitations, for how long an employee has to file a lawsuit against a California employer. The specific statute of limitations for your case depends on the type of wrongful termination lawsuit you plan on filing. The clock begins running on the date that you were retaliated against, terminated, or laid off.
- 180 days – Whistleblower claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- 2-year statute of limitations – Implied oral contract, breach of contract, and public policy claims
- 3-year statute of limitations – Whistleblower under Labor Code 1102.5, FEHA claims, and WARN Act lawsuits
In some cases, you will need to file an initial claim with the U.S. Department of Labor or California Department of Fair Employment and Housing prior to filing a lawsuit in state or federal court.
Contact a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in California to Learn More
The thought of a wrongful termination claim can be overwhelming. However, when you work with an employment law attorney who knows wrongful termination law and can handle the difficult parts, you can focus on moving forward with life. You shouldn’t have to tackle this situation alone. Contact a top wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles to begin your case today.
Call attorney Sam Setyan at (213)-618-3655 to schedule a free initial consultation.