In the state of California most employees work at-will- meaning they can be fired at any moment with or without notice. While there are several reasons why an at-will employee may be fired, California law addresses reasons that are illegal and off-limits. Workers who have been wrongfully terminated may collect lost wages, benefits, and more as a result of the employer’s violation of the law.
Were you wrongfully terminated by your employer? If so, you have to stand up for your rights. Let HBK Lawyers APC help. Call us at (800) 576-4620 to speak with a Glendale wrongful termination attorney about what to do next. We take cases throughout Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
Employment Contract-Based Claims
If you have a valid employment contract that promises continued employment for a specific period of time, or a contract that limits your employer’s ability to fire you, the employer must honor this agreement. If a California employer fires an employee in violation of the terms of a valid employment contract, there may be a valid wrongful termination claim as a result.
It is worth noting that a valid employment contract may be created by a written or an oral agreement. A valid employment contract can also be implied, based solely on certain actions or statements by the employer that create an agreement. If a California employer breached an oral, written, or implied employment contract, the wrongfully terminated employee may seek compensation through a lawsuit, or may use the breach to negotiate a beneficial severance package.
Both California and federal law prohibit employers to make job decisions, including those based on firing, hiring, and promotion, based on specific protected characteristics.
In the state of California, protected characteristics include:
- Citizenship status
- Gender identity
- Genetic information
- HIV/AIDS status
- Marital status
- Medical condition
- Military or veteran status
- National origin
- Political beliefs and/or activities
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Sexual orientation
- Status as a domestic violence, stalking, or assault victim
If an employee is fired because he or she is a member of a protected class, that would be a wrongful termination in violation of California employment law. When a wrongfully terminated employee wins an employment discrimination suit, he or she may be awarded lost wages and benefits, attorneys’ fees, court costs, damages for emotional distress, and possibly punitive damages.
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