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How Do I Know If I’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?

How Do I Know If I've Been Wrongfully Terminated?

Losing a job can be an upsetting experience, especially if you suspect it was done unlawfully. In California, various laws protect employees, safeguard their rights, and prevent wrongful terminations. Many law firms in California specialise in employment law and provide valuable insights into identifying wrongful termination cases. You can also get online help from https://www.flclaw.net. This article outlines the key factors that indicate if your workplace or company have wrongfully terminated you in California, based on the expertise of Fishman Larson Callister.

Understanding At-Will Employment

California follows the doctrine of "at-will" employment, which means that employers can terminate employees for any reason or no reason at all as long as it is not illegal. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and it is crucial to determine if your situation falls under one of these exceptions.

Unlawful Discrimination

If the company terminated you due to your race, colour, national origin, religion, gender, pregnancy, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic, it could constitute unlawful discrimination. 

California's Fair Employment and Housing Act protects the employees against such discriminatory practices.

Retaliation

The law prohibits employers from terminating employees for engaging in protected activities such as whistleblowing, reporting illegal activity, filing complaints, or participating in investigations. You may consider it wrongful termination if you suspect the company fired you in retaliation for exercising your legal rights.

Contractual Agreements

Suppose you had a written employment contract that guarantees job security or outlines specific conditions for termination. In that case, you may have a case for wrongful termination if the employer violated these terms. So you should carefully review your employment agreement to assess if your termination was in contract breach.

Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Even without a written contract, California recognises an implied agreement of good faith and fair dealing between employers and employees. If an employer unjustly terminates an employee to avoid fulfilling contractual obligations, it can be deemed a breach of this covenant.

Public Policy Violations

Terminations that violate public policy fall under wrongful termination. For instance, if the company fire you for refusing to engage in illegal activities or exercising your legal rights, such as taking legally entitled breaks or reporting safety violations, it may be considered wrongful termination.

Constructive Discharge

Sometimes, an employer's actions may make the work environment so intolerable that an employee feels compelled to resign. This is known as constructive discharge. If you prove that your resignation directly resulted from your employer's wrongful conduct, you may treat it as a wrongful termination case.

Violation of Wage and Hour Laws

Termination due to asserting your rights regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, or other wage and hour issues may be grounds for a wrongful termination claim. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for declaring their rights under California labour laws.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment characterised by harassment, discrimination, or intimidation can make continued employment untenable. If your termination resulted from enduring a hostile work environment, it may be deemed wrongful termination.

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