California law provides strong protections for employees who experience wrongful termination. In many instances, however, employees fail to assert their rights because they are not sure whether the events that took place were actually a wrongful termination of their employment. In reality, there are many grounds that may serve as a basis for a wrongful termination, including sexual harassment and retaliation. At Aarons Ward, our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers have assisted many California workers with seeking justice after losing a job as a result of an employer’s wrongful conduct. Our retaliation attorneys know just how stressful this situation may be for a worker’s entire family, and we can stand by you throughout each step to ensure that your rights are protected as you pursue the compensation that you deserve.Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim in California
Both California and federal laws regarding employment protections have specific procedures that a claimant must follow to preserve their rights. First, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates any instances of alleged discrimination. The EEOC has the authority to initiate a civil lawsuit against an employer that has been accused of engaging in discriminatory conduct, including wrongful termination.
In California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing performs a similar function, overseeing the investigation of discrimination-related lawsuits in the state. Unlike the EEOC, however, the DFEH will initiate a claim with the Fair Employment and Housing Commission. The claimant will first need to exhaust their administrative remedies in this venue before bringing their claim before a civil court. If you have experienced wrongful termination involving discrimination or sexual harassment, you may contact both the EEOC and the DFEH to seek the justice that you deserve and to try to hold your employer responsible. The wrongful termination attorneys at our Los Angeles firm can advise you on the nuances of both state and federal proceedings.Identifying Wrongful Termination
In general, California law states that the default employment relationship between an employer and an employee is at-will. This means that either party may terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason. To prevent employers from making termination decisions based on discriminatory reasons, however, California law has provided a cause of action to employees who are terminated based on race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, medical conditions, pregnancy, gender, age, and other protected traits.
Another common example of wrongful termination involves retaliation, which happens when an employer fires an employee as a way to punish someone who requests time off, is unable to work certain shifts, requests leave to observe religious holidays, is caring for a sick relative, or refuses to respond to requests for sexual favors. All too often, an employer’s rejected sexual advances will cause the employer to terminate the employee out of anger, embarrassment, or both. In other cases, an employer engages in wrongful termination when an employee indicates that they intend to report the employer or another employee for illegal conduct. This is known as whistleblowing. California law provides that an employee who exercises a right provided by law may not be terminated for exercising that right, including the right to report illegal conduct.Discuss Your Case with a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have been a victim of wrongful termination, California and federal laws provide you with certain rights to protect your interests and provide you with compensation. It may be intimidating to bring a wrongful termination claim, particularly if the circumstances of your termination were contentious. At Aarons Ward, our dedicated Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys understand what you are feeling and can ensure that your rights are asserted at each phase of the legal process. Our firm represents aggrieved workers in cities such as Encino, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Burbank, and Glendale. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your rights and options. Call us at 818-794-7100 or contact us online to set up an appointment with a discrimination lawyer or seek guidance with another type of employment claim.