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California enforces strict laws regarding employees’ rights and employers’ legal obligations to their employees. Unfortunately, while many people working in California are familiar with the term “wrongful termination,” many people misinterpret its meaning. Others look at the state’s at-will employment law and wonder how an employer can ever be held accountable for wrongful termination when they technically have the right to fire any employee at any time for any reason or no reason at all. The reality is that wrongful termination can and does occur, and when it does, the wrongfully terminated employee should know their options for legal recourse.
Working with the right employment law attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any wrongful termination dispute. The Law Office of Omid Nosrati regularly helps California clients navigate complex wrongful termination cases and other employment-related legal disputes. All California employees in all industries should understand the legal protections intended to safeguard them from wrongful termination.
While your case may seem straightforward, the process you must follow to hold an employer accountable for wrongful termination is very challenging. Working with an experienced wrongful termination attorney is the best approach to this situation. You can rely on your legal team to help you navigate your case proceedings and ultimately guide you to the best possible result. They can also answer all the tough legal questions you are likely to have about your unique situation.
If you were to attempt to handle your case on your own, you would need to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) entirely unassisted, navigate complex legal statutes on your own, and calculate your claimable damages without complete awareness of the statutes in place that apply to your case. Ultimately, hiring a wrongful termination lawyer not only increases your chance of succeeding with your claim but also improves your chance of recovering compensation for your damages.
When you have lost your job wrongfully, you are already struggling with economic strain from lost income. Hiring an attorney in this situation can seem like an extra expense that makes an already stressful situation more complicated. However, many employment attorneys in California understand this position and offer clients flexible billing options. For example, the Law Office of Omid Nosrati offers clients contingency fee billing to make our legal services as accessible as possible to those who need them most.
With a contingency fee agreement, the client pays nothing until their attorney wins their case. If the case succeeds, the client pays a percentage of the case award to the attorney to compensate them for their legal services. If the attorney does not win the case, the client pays nothing. Always verify a potential lawyer’s billing policy before agreeing to their services.
If you believe you are the victim of a wrongful termination in California, an experienced attorney can help you file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the fair employment laws in the US and investigating claims of employment discrimination, workplace harassment, and wrongful termination. Therefore, you need to file a claim with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit against your employer.
The EEOC will investigate your claim to determine whether you have grounds for legal action. If their investigation deems that your termination was wrongful, the EEOC may prosecute your employer on your behalf or issue you a Notice of Right to Sue that allows you to proceed with a civil claim.
Q: Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?
A: Due to California’s at-will employment law, employers are generally able to legally fire employees at their discretion. However, they cannot fire employees for illegal, discriminatory reasons. A “wrongful termination” occurs whenever an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason, such as firing an employee based on their religion, race, or medical status. Therefore, if you believe your employer fired you due to your protected personal traits, you likely have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit in California.
Q: How Long Does a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Take in California?
A: Every wrongful termination case is unique. A case can take several weeks to several years to resolve, depending on the details of the situation and the damages sought by the plaintiff. Your employment law attorney can provide you with a more specific estimate for your claim.
Q: How Much Is a Wrongful Termination Suit Worth?
A: The value of your wrongful termination claim depends on the damages caused by the wrongful termination. Most wrongful termination claims seek compensation for lost pay and benefits the employee should have received if allowed to continue working. It’s also possible for the plaintiff to receive compensation for emotional distress and punitive damages at the judge’s discretion. Punitive damages aim to punish unethical behavior and discourage similar actions in the future.
Q: Is Wrongful Termination Hard to Prove?
A: The most difficult aspect of a wrongful termination case for the plaintiff is proving their employer had an illegal motive behind their firing. Suppose you have evidence that proves your attorney fired you on the basis of your race, religion, sex, medical status, or any other protected quality. In that case, it’s vital to convey this to your attorney. You may also secure statements from coworkers who overheard your employer mention their illegal motives for firing you.
Ultimately, wrongful termination cases are incredibly complex and often difficult to win. However, an experienced attorney can help their client gather the evidence they need to hold an employer accountable for wrongful termination. In addition, a successful claim may not only help the affected employee recover damages but may also prevent other employees from experiencing similar treatment in the future.
If you believe you have a wrongful termination case in California, contact the Law Office of Omid Nosrati for the guidance, support, and legal representation you need in this challenging situation.