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Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer

We don’t put up with wrongful termination, and neither should you. Even if your employment is “at-will”, you still have the right to be free from wrongful termination that violates public policy. This includes termination based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age and other protected categories. If you have reason to suspect your employer dismissed you illegally, let the Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati help.  Our firm works closely with our clients to help hold employers accountable for the damages they have caused. These damages can include loss of income and emotional distress that was caused by the wrongful termination.

Our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers have a reputation for excellence in our field and will walk you through every step of the legal process for getting your wages that were owed to you and/or recover other forms of compensation. It’s our job to help you so you can secure a better future for you and your family, and to go up against discriminatory employers in Los Angeles and throughout California.

How Can a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles Help?

Before we get into the intricacies of California’s wrongful termination laws, let us say how important it is to retain an attorney who gives you confidence and peace of mind.  Your employment is a major part of your life, and vital to the health and happiness of your entire family. Losing your job because of illegal, fraudulent, or discriminatory conduct by an employer should never be how the story ends. In addition, employees who have been wrongfully terminated will often be dealing with a large, corporate defendant with the resources to fight against these claims, even if your claims have merit.  It is vitally important to have experienced legal counsel on your side so you won’t have to fight alone.  We are here to to fight for your rights as an American worker with help from our team of skilled attorneys.

Wrongful Termination Claims Quick Answers:

Why Choose The Law Office Of Omid Nosrati?

  • Exceptional communication: We’ll keep you updated on the developments of your claim and answer any questions or concerns you might have along the way. We know this process can be difficult for you and your family and we are here to help you in any way we can.
  • We are not a “mill” law firm: When you work with us for your wrongful termination claim, you stay in constant contact with one of our attorneys, not just an assistant or paralegal. You speak directly with the lawyer in charge of your case (either Mr. Nosrati or one of his skilled associates), unlike what you may find at larger, mill firms.
  • Clients trust us: We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and gratitude of our past clients. We’ve earned numerous, perfect five out of five client ratings on several national lawyer rating services, including Avvo, Super Lawyers, Yelp, and Google.
  • We are recognized by our legal peers: Mr. Nosrati received the SuperLawyers honor for 2018, on top of a 4.9 out of five peer rating on Martindale Hubbell. Other lawyers endorse Mr. Nosrati and his firm’s services and recommend us to clients frequently.
  • Decades of Experience in employment law: We have over 20 years of combined experience in employment law which is important in helping achieve positive results for our clients. We use our reputation, experience and skill in and out of the court room to give you the best chance for obtaining a satisfactory resolution of your case.

If you suspect that you were a victim of wrongful termination in Los Angeles, you can contact our wrongful termination attorneys for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. During your consult, we’ll leverage our extensive legal expertise to objectively assess the merit of your case. From there, we’ll help you understand what type of legal representation best suits your situation, and how to proceed. If we decide to offer our services, you will gain access to our variety of legal resources, tools, and advocates.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

In basic terms, “wrongful termination” is the illegal firing of an employee. While it’s mostly up to the employer when to hire and fire workers, there are certain circumstances when the termination will be “wrongful” in the eyes of the law. Examples include if the employer violates the terms of an employment agreement or breaks the law. Federal and state workplace discrimination laws often come into play when dealing with wrongful termination cases. You need a wrongful termination attorney with experience handling federal and state civil rights laws.

What Are Grounds for Wrongful Termination?

To have a valid wrongful termination claim, employers must violate state or federal law when they fire employees. Since California is a state where employees work at will, it’s possible for employers to terminate workers at any time. However, the law has many restrictions on when employees can lose their jobs.

    • Contract claims: Employment contracts can contain a guarantee of employment for a certain amount of time. They can also include a statement that mentions that the employer will only fire someone for cause. If your employer breaches the terms of the contract in firing you, then you will likely have a strong claim for wrongful termination. A contract can include oral and written agreements, such as a complete contract or an employee handbook.
    • Discrimination claims: In addition to protected characteristics under federal law, California has several characteristics that employers cannot base job decisions on. These include race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, marital status, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, political beliefs, political activities, military or veteran status, or for being a victim of stalking, assault, or domestic violence. You may also be able to claim additional damages from your lost wages and benefits due to your termination.
    • Retaliation claims: All workers can exercise and enforce their employment rights. If you take time off to serve on a jury, file a complaint against discrimination or harassment, request or take family or medical leave, file a workers’ compensation claim, or complain about illegal wage and hour practices, your employer cannot fire you.
  • Violation of Public Policy: Public policy claims have similar grounds as retaliation claims, which follow a specific legal provision. Public policy mandates that employees cannot lose their jobs for exercising a legal right, complaining about workplace illegality, or refusing to commit a legal act. You do not need to base your public policy claim or a specific legal provision to have a valid case. For example, employees that lost their jobs because they refuse to participate in fraud by their company will still have grounds for wrongful termination, even though no law or statute forbids firing an employee for such an action.

Depending on the type of wrongful termination claim you have, your case may also involve other claims. In California, public policy claims also count as a type of personal injury claim, making it possible to cover other damages in your compensation. You may be able to recover emotional distress and punitive damages, if your case is severe enough.

Personal injury claims can also play a role in discrimination and retaliation claims. You may have grounds to recover compensation for personal injury if your termination involved damages. For example, if you complained about sexual harassment at the workplace, leading to your termination, you may have grounds for retaliation, harassment, and assault or battery.

If your employer falsely accuses you of theft and maliciously spreads the information to sabotage your chances of getting a new job,  you may have a claim of defamation. You may also have a claim of fraud if your employer promised you certain benefits upon hiring you or completing work that the employer had no intention of fulfilling.

“At-will” doesn’t mean “no rules”

Most jobs follow the rules of “at-will” employment. Broadly, this means that employees are free to quit their jobs at any time, and that employers have broad power to end a worker’s employment.

But, this power is not unlimited. It is illegal to fire an at-will employee for one of the following reasons:

  • Discrimination: California law prohibits firing someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability or any other protected characteristic. Similarly, employers cannot fire workers simply because they asked for reasonable accommodations for their disability or religious practices.
  • Legal use of benefits: Employees in California have a right to take leave to care for their own health issue or to care for an unwell family member. Parents also have a right to take leave when a new child joins the family. Not everyone is eligible for leave, but employers may not fire workers for taking or requesting a leave to which they are legally entitled.
  • Retaliation: Everyone deserves a safe and fair working environment. The law forbids retaliation against workers who report harassment, health and safety risks, pay and overtime violations, and similar issues. Workers cannot be fired for making good-faith reports of improper conduct.

The Law Office of Omid Nosrati has practiced employment law for years. Our attorneys understand what laws protect Los Angeles workers, and know how to handle these cases with care. Our main goal is to help wronged employees understand their rights, stand up against discrimination or illegal business practices, and get the reimbursement they deserve for their troubles. We do this with exceptional client communication, personalized legal services, and effective advocating.

You might suspect wrongful termination if you did nothing wrong, if your employer has broken a contract with you, if the termination came after you reported your employer for workplace safety violations, or if you have reason to believe your employer let you go because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or other protected class. As soon as you think you have suffered a wrongful termination, consulting with an experienced employment attorney in Los Angeles can help you protect your legal rights. You can confide in our firm during a confidential and complimentary consultation. There are zero up-front costs, and no fees at all unless we get you compensation.

Wrongful Termination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • How Can I Tell If a Termination Is Wrongful?

    • A protected activity is anything the law gives you the right to do, such as reporting your employer to authorities for fraud, embezzlement, unlawful activities, safety code violations, and wage and hour violations. You also have the right to refuse to participate in unlawful activities at work. If you lose your job because of one of these activities, you are the victim of wrongful termination.
    • If you are fired based on other protected reasons, such as age, race, color, national origin, sex, disability, pregnancy, religion, or veteran status, that is also considered a wrongful termination.
  • My Boss Replaced Me with Someone Younger. Is This Wrongful Termination?

    • Maybe. There is a chance you could be the victim of age discrimination and wrongful termination in the workplace, if this is the case. However, you must be at least over the age of 40 to seek protection under California’s age discrimination laws. The motivation of your employer is at the crux of this type of case. Simply getting fired as an older employee doesn’t automatically mean discrimination. However, if your age was a motivating factor in the replacement, you could have a case of illegal termination.
  • Do I Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?

    • If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you might be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits for up to 26 weeks. California is an “at-will” state, meaning employers have the right to fire employees for any reason, at any time. You can remain eligible for unemployment despite the at-will laws. You can apply for unemployment benefits if you lose your job via termination. If your employer makes conditions at work so unbearable that it forces you to quit, you might have trouble qualifying for unemployment compensation. Keeping a record of conditions at your workplace as evidence of “constructive termination” could be helpful later on.
  • Is Breach of Contract Considered Wrongful Termination?

    • In some cases, California’s at-will laws don’t apply to employees. There are contracts between employers and workers that could limit the employer’s ability to fire a worker at will. In these cases, employees might be able to argue wrongful termination if the employer had no reason to fire them. Legal reasons to terminate contracted employees include the employee willfully breaching a contract, habitually neglecting his/her employment duties, or being unable to perform duties. Verbal and written contracts qualify under state laws.

California Wrongful Termination Law

Every state maintains its own employment and wrongful termination laws. In California, an overarching “at-will” law exists within all workplaces. This means employers have the right to dismiss employees at will, anytime, for any reason. In other words, the employee does not have a contract with the company and can face dismissal at any time. The state’s at-will laws have several important exceptions, however, and never apply in cases where the employer terminates someone for unlawful reasons.

In California, wrongful termination can exist even if there was a reason for your employer to fire you. If the employer mixed a permissible reason for your termination with an impermissible one, you could still have grounds to file a wrongful termination claim. The illegal reason must have been a “substantial motivating factor” in your termination for you to have the right to fight your employer on the decision – not something trivial. To have a wrongful termination claim, your employer must have either formally fired you or made working conditions so hostile or intolerable as to force you to quit, better known as constructive termination.

A successful wrongful termination claim can result in money damages for your lost wages and benefits, lost employment opportunities, emotional distress, and even punitive damages for your employer’s wrongful action. Keep in mind that several other laws could play a part in a wrongful termination claim, including laws under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Labor Code. Consulting with an experienced employment lawyer  is a good first step to help you sort through the specific California wrongful termination laws that apply to your case.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment

California labor laws enforce at-will employment in most situations. This does not, however, give employers the right to terminate workers illegally. There are exceptions to California’s at-will laws that give employees the right to take their employers to court in the event of wrongful termination. Otherwise, the law would permit employers to terminate employees for illegal reasons. Exceptions to the at-will law include:

  1. If a contract or implied contract exists between the two parties that states, the employer will not terminate the employee without good cause.
  2. If the employer terminates the employee based on a protected class such as age, race, pregnancy, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or military status.
  3. If the employer wrongfully terminates the employee because he or she performed a legal duty such as reporting the employer to authorities, or if the employee refused to help the employer conduct illegal activities.
  4. If the employer terminates the employee for reporting unsafe work conditions.

Type of Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

There are almost endless examples of wrongful termination. However, some case scenarios happen more often than others in California. There are common reasons for wrongful termination that can help you understand whether or not you have a claim. Remember that each claim is unique and that the best way to find out if you have a lawsuit is during a discussion with an employment lawyer. In the meantime, here are the common types circumstances that can lead to wrongful termination:

  • Breach of contract
  • Employee discrimination or workplace harassment
  • Forcing an employee to leave the position
  • Ignoring protected leave
  • Improper accommodations for disabilities
  • Violation of public policy
  • Whistleblowing or retaliation

Wrongful termination is a very serious offense that can completely dismantle an employee’s life. In the majority of cases, employers know what they are doing. They know they’re breaking the law or firing someone illegally and are hoping the employee simply won’t do anything about it – or even realize that the termination is against the law. When you speak with one of our Los Angeles attorneys, you can get to the bottom of your recent termination and take action right away.

Wrongful Termination and Whistleblower Protections

A “whistleblower” is an employee who reports an employer for wrongdoing such as discrimination, safety code violations, illegal activities, and fraud. It is within every worker’s rights to report suspicious activity to the authorities. Retaliation for using these rights, such as terminating the employee who filed the report, is against the law. In California, Labor Code 1102.5 discusses employees’ protection against retaliation and wrongful termination of whistleblowers.

California’s False Claims Act is also important, as it discusses “qui tam” laws that enable employees to sue employers on behalf of the government. Qui tam actions may be necessary if your employer has committed fraud against the government, or embezzlement of government funds. Do not try to tackle these types of employment claims on your own.

With so many potential grounds for a claim, it can be difficult to determine which ones apply to your case and if you qualify for any additional forms of compensation. Your best move is to consult an attorney to evaluate your case and help you protect your rights. As some types of wrongful termination claims have strict statutes of limitations, it’s important to act quickly so that you can still recover compensation. 

Hire an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney to optimize your chances of success. Start with a free consultation with The Law Office of Omid Nosrati. Contact us online or call (310) 553-5630 today.

The Nosrati Law College Scholarship

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be US Citizens.
  • Applicants must provide proof of current enrollment or acceptance at an accredited college or trade school.
  • Applicants already attending college must be able to show that they are maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Applicants who have not yet started their first college semester, must have achieved a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and provide documentation of such.
  • Essay submissions must be received no later than Midnight, Pacific Time, February 20th, each year.

To Apply:

  • Write an essay at least 500 words in length and no more than 750 words on the specified topic (see below).
  • Submit the essay in MS Word, Adobe PDF, or Plain Text format to scholarships "at" prior to Midnight, Pacific Time, February 20th each year.
  • Include your name, phone, and email address in your submission email.
  • Include proof of your current school enrollment or acceptance for future enrollment.
  • Include a copy of your most recent college transcript or your final high school transcript if you are newly enrolled in your college or trade school.

Other Important Information:

Applicants who do not follow all instructions or submit all required information will not be considered and will not be notified of such.
Essay Topic: As you look ahead to finishing school and entering your chosen profession, what is it that will set you apart from others in the same field? Other questions to consider as you write: What will you do to bring unique value to your work? What will you do to prevent being just mediocre in your vocation?
Essays will be judged on many factors including grammar and punctuation, structure, creativity, and substance.
The Nosrati Law Scholarship can only be used for school tuition and related expenses. A check for $1,000 will be made payable directly to the award recipient’s educational institution.
Students who have already been a recipient of our scholarship, may not apply again.