Have You Been Wrongfully Terminated?

One of the more problematic terms in employment law is “at-will employment.” It means that an employee or employer can end a job for any reason at any time. However, your employer cannot terminate you for an illegal reason.

California has some of the strictest labor laws in the nation. If you were terminated in violation of the law, you might have a right to reinstatement or compensation. Our attorney at The Law Office of Terry J. Chapko can look at your facts and help determine if you have a viable case.

California’s Employment Laws

There are numerous state and federal employment laws an employer must comply with whenever they end someone’s employment.

Employers sometimes fire workers for illegal reasons but then claim they terminated them for a permissible reason. In many cases, they may leave evidence of their illegal reasons that can be found during a careful investigation. Our attorney has many years’ experience examining these situations, and we may be able to uncover the evidence that demonstrates their illegal intent.

Terminating an at-will employee’s job may be an employment law violation if:

  • There are violations of someone’s rights as a member of a protected class.
  • The termination is due to gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
  • The employee made lawful requests for leave or time away from work.
  • There is dismissal because an employee was a whistleblower or reported a violation of the law.
  • The termination violates public policy.
  • The termination involved the rights of political association.

Unlawful retaliation. Employees who complain about illegal activities or wrongdoing and suffer adverse treatment, as a result, may have a retaliation case. Retaliation often results in connection with employees who have filed complaints or other claims. These claims could include:

  • Reporting discrimination or harassment
  • Filing a complaint about unpaid wages
  • Complaints about work conditions
  • Reasonable accommodation requests
  • Filing workers’ comp claims

Employment contracts. Evidence must prove there was either an implied or written contract that your employment can only be terminated “for cause.” These requirements are typically contained within union contracts or granted to executives who receive personal employment contracts.

There are three primary reasons for the termination of employees in these situations:

  • Willful breaches of duties
  • Continually neglecting duties
  • Inability to perform required duties

Allowable time off. Employers sometimes retaliate against employees who use leave or other time away from work. This time may include:

  • Child bonding/maternity leaves
  • Family/medical leave
  • Jury duty
  • Military leave
  • Parenting/school-related activities
  • Time off for serious health concerns

Public policy violations. These violations often include firing a worker if they refuse to engage in illegal activities.

Protect Your Rights

You want a lawyer working for you who knows how to collect evidence and marshal the facts to provide you with the most persuasive case possible. Our attorney has helped workers with wrongful termination claims for more than 25 years in California. Call our Coronado office at 619-522-2100, or email us here to schedule your initial consultation.