Experiencing wrongful termination can be a distressing and frustrating ordeal. If you believe you’ve been unjustly fired from your job in California, it’s crucial to understand your rights and take appropriate actions. This blog post provides guidance on what steps you should take after being wrongfully terminated in California.
Understand California’s Laws on Wrongful Termination
California has strong employee protections against wrongful termination. The state follows an “at-will” employment doctrine, meaning employers can terminate employees for any lawful reason or no reason at all. However, there are exceptions and legal grounds that protect employees from unfair dismissals. Familiarize yourself with California Labor Code and related statutes to determine if your termination falls under wrongful termination.
Be Mindful of Your Communication with Your Employer
Exercising caution and thoughtfulness in your interactions with your employer is of utmost importance when facing wrongful termination. In many cases, employers consult with legal professionals before making the decision to terminate an employee, aiming to minimize the risk of potential legal claims. Reacting in an aggressive or hostile manner may not only escalate the situation but also weaken your chances of obtaining fair compensation for the wrongful termination.
Document the Details
Gather and document all pertinent information related to your employment and termination. This includes employment contracts, offer letters, emails, performance evaluations, and any evidence that supports your claims of wrongful termination. Detailed records will help substantiate your case and provide valuable evidence during legal proceedings.
File a Complaint with the Appropriate Agency
In California, you may need to file a complaint with the relevant government agency before proceeding with a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These agencies will investigate your claim and may attempt to mediate a resolution with your employer.
Evaluate The Validity of Your Claim
The initial step after being terminated is to assess whether your termination qualifies as wrongful under applicable laws. The Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP encourage you to examine whether your employer adhered to the terms outlined in your agreement. Similarly, if you are a member of a union, your termination must align with the provisions outlined in the collective bargaining agreement. However, if you lack an employment contract or union affiliation, you can investigate if there is evidence supporting a claim of discrimination or retaliation.
For instance, evaluate if you were treated differently based on your race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation compared to other employees. Additionally, consider instances of biased performance reviews, discriminatory comments made in the workplace, or if your termination resulted from retaliation for asserting your legal rights or opposing unlawful employment practices. Such evidence can strengthen your case for wrongful termination.
Preserve Your Rights and Timely File a Lawsuit
If a resolution is not achieved through agency mediation, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. It’s essential to act promptly, as California has a statute of limitations for wrongful termination claims. Missing the deadline can result in losing your right to pursue legal action. Your attorney will guide you through the process and ensure all necessary paperwork is filed correctly.
Dealing with wrongful termination in California can be overwhelming, but taking the right steps can help protect your rights and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Remember to consult with an experienced employment lawyer who can navigate the intricacies of California employment law and guide you through the process. By gathering evidence, filing complaints with the appropriate agencies, and timely initiating a lawsuit, you can work towards achieving justice and holding your employer accountable for their wrongful actions.