Wrongful Termination Lawyer in San Diego | The Larabee Law Firm
Getting laid off from your job under normal circumstances is upsetting. If you suspect you’ve been fired unjustly and illegally, the feelings of confusion, frustration, and fear about the future increase tenfold. In California, an employer can terminate employment for nearly any reason – or for no reason at all. There are some important exceptions to this rule, however, where it’s illegal for an employer to fire an employee. If this happens to you, an experienced wrongful termination lawyer can fight for your rights under the law.
Was your termination illegal?
Employment is considered “at will” in California, which means your employer may fire you (and you can quit) without providing a reason. Your employer cannot terminate your employment, however, because:
You belong to a protected class. It’s illegal for your employer to fire you because of your race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, citizenship status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, AIDS/HIV, medical condition, political activities or affiliation, military or veteran status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking. It’s also illegal for your employer to fire you because you complained about hostile treatment based on one of these factors.
You’re a “whistleblower.” Under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, your employer cannot terminate you because you report illegal or unethical company activity to a government agency or to the police. California whistleblower laws protect both public and private employees.
You file a workers’ compensation claim. An employer cannot terminate your employment because you report a workplace injury or file a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer is required to make an effort to accommodate any new work restrictions so you can still perform your job.
You reported sexual harassment or discrimination. Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace are illegal, and your employer cannot fire you for reporting such instances. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees from unfair treatment in the workplace.
You took protected family leave. In California, workers at companies with 50 or more employees have job protection for taking leave through the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act. It’s illegal for an employer to fire an employee because he or she is on medical leave.
You reported your employer’s failure to provide reasonable accommodation. California law makes it illegal for an employer to fail to make reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental disability of an employee. Your employer cannot fire you for reporting disability discrimination to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
You reported your employer’s wage and payment violations. California law imposes strict penalties on employers for unpaid wages and failure to pay overtime. It’s illegal for your employer to fire you for filing a wage claim to receive back pay, liquidated damages, or overtime pay.
You are not an American citizen. The federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it illegal for most employers to terminate employment because of a worker’s alien status. That is, as long as the employee is legally eligible to work in the United States.
Contact a wrongful termination lawyer in San Diego
You depend on your income to support your family, and losing your job can turn your world upside down in an instant. If you identify with one of the scenarios above, you may be able to sue your employer for wrongful termination. The best way to find out if you have a valid case is to contact the experienced employment attorneys at the Larabee Law Firm.
When it comes to wrongful termination, there are many different legal grounds on which you might have a lawsuit – from retaliation, to discrimination, to protected time off. We can help you sort through the facts, identify your strongest claims, and determine the next steps for protecting your rights.