Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
In an employment at-will state like California, companies have considerable leeway when firing employees. However, in certain situations, an employer might terminate a worker for improper grounds under laws administered by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Being a member of a protected class and participating in protected activities are never legitimate reasons to fire someone, so employees do have rights after a wrongful termination.
If you believe that you were or might soon be terminated in violation of law, it is important to retain experienced counsel right away. Our lawyers at Obagi Law Group, P.C. can assist with the legal process, but there are strict time limitations for recovering compensation. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer today. You might also benefit from reviewing some basic information regarding these cases.
California Wrongful Termination Laws Protect Employees
At-will employment rules mean that your employer can generally fire you for any reason or no reason at all. However, a wrongful termination may occur when you were dismissed based upon unlawful grounds. They include:
Protected Characteristics: When you were discharged because you possess certain traits or qualities designated under civil rights laws, you may have a claim. Protected characteristics include:
- Race, national origin, ancestry, or color;
- Physical or mental disability, or other medical condition;
- Age, for employees over 40 years old;
- Sex, including pregnancy and related conditions;
- Gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression;
- Marital status;
- Genetic information; and,
- Military or Veteran status.
Protected Activities: California’s wrongful discharge laws also protect you from being terminated for participating in protected activities, which mostly involve exercising your legal rights. Examples include filing a claim for wages, workers’ comp, sexual harassment, discrimination, or other employment-related matters. Your employer may also violate the law by firing you for complaining about wages and related workplace conditions.
Enforcing Your Rights After Wrongful Termination
Workers who believe they were unlawfully dismissed must initially pursue their rights through DFEH, since you must exhaust your administrative remedies before you can initiate litigation. Depending on your specific situation, DFEH may investigate, request a response from your employer, and/or require you to participate in mediation. If you are dissatisfied with the results, you can request a “Right to Sue” letter that allows you to file a lawsuit in court.
In a wrongful termination case, you may qualify for various forms of relief, including:
- Back pay and lost wages;
- Advance pay or future earnings;
- Reinstatement of your position or a promotion;
- Damages for emotional distress;
- Out-of-pocket costs and attorneys’ fees;
- Punitive damages, in especially egregious cases; and,
- Many others.
Get Legal Help from a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
This summary of California wrongful discharge laws may be useful, but you should trust an experienced attorney for assistance with the details. Our team at the Obagi Law Group, P.C. is prepared to fight for your rights, so please contact our firm at 424-284-2401 to set up a consultation regarding your legal remedies.