In the state of California, it’s illegal for your employer to fire you for the wrong reasons — even if you’re an at-will employee working without any type of employment contract.
If you believe your employer illegally fired you, you may want to contact a Los Angeles employment attorney who understands the laws… and who’s willing to fight hard for your rights as a Californian.
California Employee Rights and Wrongful Termination in Los Angeles and Glendale
California employee rights include protection from wrongful termination, and there are state and federal laws to back you if you’ve been illegally fired. Those laws also protect you while you’re working; your employer can’t withhold sales commissions, misclassify your salary, or unlawfully deduct expenses from your pay.
An employer that violates your employee rights may not think twice about wrongfully terminating you, either. While it’s unfortunate, it’s true; many of the cases we’ve helped people with over the past several years have involved multiple violations of employee rights.
Employee Rights and At-Will Employment
If you’re working without a contract, the state most likely considers you an at-will employee. This applies to many jobs, including restaurant servers, laborers, retail workers, and some executives.
Your boss can fire because you two have a personality clash, he doesn’t like your shirt, or she’s mad that you spilled coffee on her presentation.
Your boss can’t fire you because of:
- Age discrimination
- Your gender or sexual orientation
- Religious discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Your marital status
- Racial discrimination
- Your national origin or ancestry
Your boss can’t fire you because you took family medical leave or had to take time to serve in the military, you applied for workers’ compensation, or you blew the whistle on illegal or improper conduct. You can’t be fired because you reported discrimination or harassment (or even participated in an investigation regarding discrimination or harassment), or because of your union activity, either.
California employee rights are very clear when it comes to protecting workers from wrongful termination, and if you think your employer violated your rights, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. The best way to find out? Get in touch with a Los Angeles employment attorney who understands how state and federal laws relate to wrongful termination and who’s willing to help protect your rights by fighting in court.
California Employee Rights and Contract Employment
People who have employment contracts (or employment agreements) are typically considered for-cause employees, although there are some exceptions.
If you signed an employment contract, look for a passage in it about termination. That passage should list reasons that make it okay for your boss to fire you. (If you don’t find one, don’t worry. Many employment contracts are simply payment agreements and don’t include this kind of information, but your Los Angeles employment lawyer will be able determine how state and federal wrongful termination laws apply to you.)
What Your Los Angeles Employment Attorney Will Determine
Your Los Angeles employment attorney will determine the nature of your employment (whether your company considered you an at-will employee or a for-cause employee) and look at whether your termination violated certain aspects of your employee rights under the law.
Some of the areas your lawyer will look at include:
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Your refusal to commit a criminal act
- Whether you stood up for your protected rights
- Whether you’re a “whistleblower” or you reported violations of the law
What You Can Recover for Violations of Your California Employee Rights
Employee rights aren’t just about wrongful termination; they protect you from several unfair conditions when you’re working.
However, if you have been wrongfully terminated, your Los Angeles employment attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation.
Losing a job isn’t just stressful; in many cases, it’s downright terrifying.
How will you pay your bills? What if you need to go to the doctor and you no longer have health insurance? What’s going to happen to your retirement account?
Wrongful termination can fall under two aspects of law, and the damages you may be eligible to recover depend on what type of law it was. Contract law and tort law are the two main aspects that cover wrongful termination.
At-Will Employees and Wrongful Termination Damages
If you’re an at-will employee, chances are good that your wrongful termination case would fall under tort law. Cases like this are governed by civil (rather than criminal) law. You may be entitled to recover damages for emotional distress, lost wages and benefits, and the loss of future wages and benefits.
For-Cause Employees and Wrongful Termination Damages
If you’re a for-cause employee with an employment contract, your case may fall under contract law. You may be able to recover damages for back pay and interest, the value of your benefits, relocation costs, and the loss of your security.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About California Employee Rights?
You don’t have to go through this difficult time all alone. You deserve to have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights — and that’s exactly why you should call our Los Angeles and Glendale employment attorneys.
Call us at 818-659-8331 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a free consultation with a Los Angeles employment attorney. We’ll listen to your story and analyze what happened… and we’ll start fighting for your rights immediately.