If you’re an employee in Glendale, CA who has been fired unjustly, you may have a wrongful termination claim.
But how do you know if you were fired unjustly?
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires a worker for an illegal reason (or more than one illegal reason). The termination may be related to:
- Retaliation for the employee engaging in a protected activity
- Sexual harassment, such as when you’re fired because you won’t tolerate it
- Retaliation for you filing a complaint or claim against the employer
An employer can fire you for not doing your job – but it cannot fire you because of your race, religion, national origin, or age. An employer can’t fire you because you refused to break the law or you reported violations of the law, either.
What is Wrongful Termination Under California Law?
California is an at-will employment state, which means either party—the employer or the employee—can terminate employment at any time without notice. You can walk into your boss’s office and quit, or your boss can come into yours and fire you, and that’s typically the end of the line.
The law says, “Both the employer and the employee are free to end the employment relationship at any time, with no penalty being assessed to either. Unless the parties have previously agreed to the contrary, there is no notice required to be given by either party.”
If that happens, you may have a wrongful termination case—but only if your employer terminated you for illegal reasons.
Does Wrongful Termination Apply to Being Laid Off, Too?
Wrongful termination can also apply to being laid off from your job. The same laws govern layoffs as govern firing, which means your employer can’t lay you off unless it has a valid reason – and discriminatory or retaliatory reasons don’t count.
Wrongful Termination in Glendale and Beyond
Wrongful termination occurs when you have been fired for one of several reasons, including:
- Your race, color, creed, nationality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation
- Out of retaliation for you being a whistleblower or working with prosecutors
- Out of retaliation for you participating in a sexual harassment case
- Your refusal to do something illegal
- You having taken time off to vote, participate in jury duty, or use FMLA leave
These are typically considered discrimination or retaliation claims—and if your employer used one of these reasons to terminate you, it may be a good idea to get in touch with an attorney. You may have a wrongful termination claim.
If you’ve signed an employment contract with your employer that says you’ll continue to be employed for a certain length of time, or that says your employer can only fire you for certain reasons (it may say “for good cause,” for example), your employer has to honor the contract. If your employer violates that contract, you may need to talk to a L.A. and Glendale employment lawyer immediately.
A Word on Union Contracts
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or DLSE, doesn’t have jurisdiction over employment that falls under a collective bargaining agreement (typically a union contract). If you’re a union member who has been terminated, it’s a good idea to talk to your local union rep as soon as possible.
Do You Think You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated in Glendale or L.A.?
If you suspect you may have been wrongfully terminated, whether your workplace was in Glendale, L.A., or one of the surrounding communities, you may benefit from talking to an employment attorney who understands the law and how it pertains to your situation.
Call us at 818-659-8324 or contact us online for a free case review. We’ll examine the facts in your case and help determine whether it’s likely you were illegally fired. If the facts show that your employer’s actions are against California or federal law, we’ll begin developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.