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Wrongful Termination FAQ

Has your employer recently fired you with seemingly no reason? Are you concerned about your future and unsure whether you have grounds to sue the employer for wrongful termination? At the Law Office of Omid Nosrati, we assist many Los Angeles employees in navigating their employment concerns. An experienced employment law attorney can be a great asset if you think you have grounds for a wrongful termination claim, but the reality of these claims is they can be more complex than they appear at first.

Review some of the most common questions we hear about wrongful termination in California. As you read through the following questions and their answers, see what resonates with your present situation to gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding your firing and whether you may have grounds for legal action against an employer who wrongfully fired you.

Q: Does “at will” employment mean my employer can fire me at any time for no reason?

A: Yes, and no. At will employment does not require an employer or employee to provide a reason or prior notice for ending a term of employment. However, at will employment laws do not grant employers permission to fire employees for illegal reasons, such as discrimination, retaliation, or exercise of basic Constitutional rights.

Q: I reported my employer for illegal activity in the workplace and was quickly fired. Do I have grounds for a wrongful termination claim?

A: Absolutely. It is your right and, in many ways, your responsibility to report illegal workplace happenings to the proper authorities. If your employer takes any adverse actions against you or terminates your employment in response, this is clear-cut retaliation and grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Q: I hurt myself at work, but I’m afraid my employer will fire me if I file for workers’ compensation benefits. Should I be concerned?

A: No. Employers in California that carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage have a legal duty to facilitate employees’ claims, not to interfere with them. If you suffer an injury on the job that requires medical attention, it is vital to report it as soon as possible so you can start the claims process. Any delay could interfere with your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer takes any punitive action against you for asking to file for workers’ compensation benefits, such as denying you access to necessary paperwork, demoting you, transferring you to another department, altering your job hours or compensation rate, or firing you, you would have grounds for legal action against these kinds of retaliation.

Q: Management recently removed my supervisor and placed my position under a new supervisor, and the new supervisor seems to be much harsher on me than the previous one despite the fact that I am performing ahead of the rest of my department. Does this qualify as discrimination?

A: Possibly. Can you think of any things the new supervisor has said or done to make you think the supervisor is acting in a discriminatory fashion? Have you tried asking the supervisor about their perceived hostility toward you? If you have any evidence that would support your suspicion of discrimination, this may likely be the cause. Try to explore internal channels for a resolution unless you know for certain that the blowback you have been receiving is due to the employer’s discriminatory attitude.

Q: Does an employer need grounds to fire me with an at will employment agreement?

A: Technically, no. The employer and the employee in an at will employment agreement both have the right to end the working relationship at any time with or without cause and with or without prior notice. However, this law does not allow employers to fire employees for illegal reasons.

Q: My employment contract does not include an at will employment agreement, but my employer fired me before my contract ended despite my positive performance. Do I have grounds for legal action?

A: As long as you upheld your end of the contract and did not violate any part of it, it sounds like you may have grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit or wrongful termination lawsuit against the employer. A wrongful termination lawyer can review the specifics of your situation and help you determine your best options.

Q: How do I prove that my firing was for a discriminatory reason when my employer can just refer to the at will employment law?

A: If you have any evidence to support your belief that your employer fired you for a discriminatory reason, an employment law attorney can help you determine the best next steps to take. Some examples of evidence that could support your case could include witness testimony from coworkers or official intercompany correspondence records (such as emails) that include discriminatory language.

Q: What type of compensation can I receive from a successful wrongful termination lawsuit?

A: Many wrongful termination lawsuits aim to recover lost income. If your employer wrongfully prevented you from earning income, you can claim this loss as damages in your lawsuit. You may also have the opportunity to claim compensation for emotional distress damage to your professional reputation and attorney’s fees. Depending on the nature and severity of your former employer’s actions, the judge hearing the case could also award punitive damages.

Q: I know for a fact that my employer fired me for a discriminatory reason despite their claim of the at will statute, and I have evidence to prove it. Do I really need to hire an employment law lawyer?

A: Attempting pro se or self representation is incredibly risky. Failing to meet a filing deadline or submitting court documents incorrectly could jeopardize your whole claim. Think of hiring a wrongful termination attorney as a safety net for your claim. Your attorney will handle the legal side of your situation so you can focus on finding a new job, and, if you’re concerned about the expense of hiring an attorney, it is highly likely that your employer will face liability for your attorney’s fees if you succeed with your case.

Choose a Reliable Employment Law Attorney for Your Wrongful Termination Case.

We hope that these questions and answers have helped you clarify your understanding of wrongful termination cases, how they work in California, and how to best proceed with your own claim. If you have been wrongfully fired and need a reliable wrongful termination attorney on your side, contact the Law Office of Omid Nosrati today to schedule a consultation. An experienced employment law lawyer will review the details of your situation and let you know how our firm can help.

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.

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