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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.

Q:When Do I Need a Wrongful Termination Lawyer?

A: Feel free to contact our law office with any questions or concerns you might have about a recent job termination or another form of retaliation. We offer complimentary case evaluations so that you can discuss your issue with an attorney at no cost or obligation – virtually risk-free. It’s a good idea to contact The Law Office of Omid Nosrati as soon as you suspect wrongful termination. An attorney can help you file claims with the proper organizations and pursue compensation through a settlement or trial in Los Angeles. Call (310) 553-5630 for more information.

Q: How long should I wait before hiring a wrongful termination attorney?

A: There are several advantages to consulting with and hiring a wrongful termination attorney soon after your termination. The reason for this is, as time goes by, some evidence or potential witnesses can become inaccessible. Additionally, recalling the details of an event becomes more difficult if it occurred months or years ago. You should be aware that filing deadlines (statutes of limitations) may also apply, which means waiting too long could jeopardize your ability to file a claim.

Q: I believe I was terminated without cause, but I can’t afford an attorney. What do I do?

A: After a sudden loss of income, finding a budget to hire a wrongful termination attorney should be the least of your worries. At the Law Office of Omid Nosrati, we know how stressful it is to begin recovering from a wrongful termination while also pursuing legal action. We make the process easy and hassle-free for you as we operate a contingency fee law practice. This means that if we obtain a settlement for you or win your case at trial, then a percentage of your recovery will be paid for our fees and any costs advanced on your behalf. If we don’t get you a recovery, and you don’t obtain a recovery later with another law firm, you won’t owe us anything. Simple as that.

Q: I didn’t change jobs or get fired, but my employer adjusted the expectations of those in my role and I can’t take it anymore. It’s unbearable and I want to quit. Can a wrongful termination lawyer help me prove constructive discharge?

A: Wrongful termination and constructive discharge are very different, but you may still have a case with which we can assist. The California Supreme Court recognizes constructive discharge as valid when the employee can prove the employer intentionally created or allowed work conditions to change in such a way that encouraged the employee to resign. If you would like a member of our team to review your case to determine if constructive discharge is a factor, please contact us.

Q: I had to miss a lot of work while caring for a sick relative and now I might be fired. Do I have a case for wrongful termination in California?

A: First, why do you suspect you will be fired? This is an important question to answer because there may be other factors, such as discrimination, to consider. Second, employers are required under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to protect your position if you qualify to use this benefit. FMLA requires that you have been employed for 12 months prior to the leave with a minimum of 1,250 hours worked during that time. If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly due to legitimately taking FMLA, please speak with a member of our team to determine if you have a case.

Q: What qualifies as discrimination in the workplace? What if I haven’t been fired but can’t seem to move up the corporate ladder like some of my peers?

A: California’s anti-discrimination laws apply to all aspects of employment, from advertising to the application process. Business decisions and processes, such as internal promotions, transfers, and professional development opportunities, are also subject to anti-discrimination laws. An employer cannot discriminate because of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics include:

  • Race, color, ancestry, and national origin
  • Religion or creed
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Age if over 40
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Sex or gender
  • Veteran or military status
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic profile or predisposition

If you feel you’re being discriminated against due to one of the protected characteristics above, contact our office to discuss whether you have a case.

Q: I was recently fired after a disagreement with my manager. I’m now looking for work, but my previous employer keeps giving me a bad reference. I believe he is lying about me. What can I do?

A: The details of your situation will be key here, as you may have a case for wrongful termination. The best course of action is to document and gather any evidence you have supporting wrongful termination. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. It is not uncommon to seek damages in excess of lost wages to include damage to your professional reputation.

Q: I recently confronted my employer about time reporting errors that resulted in fewer work hours being paid. I think they’re shorting employees’ checks by not tallying all hours worked. Three days later, I was suddenly fired. Do I have a wrongful termination case?

A: Evidence is key in winning cases that involve wage disputes, but it is possible you do have a case. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Q: I am an employer being sued by a former employee for wrongful termination. Can your firm help me?

A: At the Law Office of Omid Nosrati, we are dedicated to serving the unique needs of employees dealing with an employer-related legal issue. Our passion truly lies in helping employees overcome wrongful termination, discrimination-related mistreatment, harassment, and abuse. That said, we exclusively work with employees and do not defend employers.

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" nosratilaw.com 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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