West Coast Employment Lawyers are here to fight for your rights. We understand California is an at-will employment state, but that doesn’t mean your employer can violate public policies at-will.
Unfortunately, many unlawful terminations happen every day in Los Angeles and throughout California with zero justice served. If you believe that you are a victim of wrongful termination and are ready to fight for justice, you may be entitled to file a claim against your employer for violating California’s labor and employment laws.
At WCEL, our qualified Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers are available 24/7 to assess your case. From there, we will aggressively argue against the opposing party to ensure you are given the compensation and justice you deserve for any losses caused by your employer’s unlawful actions.
At WCEL our wrongful termination lawyers are known to win cases. It’s no secret why other firms outsource their litigation cases to us. We win and win big.
Our Founder has not only graduated from Harvard University and UCLA, but his track record has seen the likes of the Roman Catholic Church, Disney, and other corporate giants call on his services. Neama Rahmani has also served as a federal prosecutor, holding drug cartel kingpins and some of America’s most wanted criminals accountable.
His mission now is to help the unrepresented worker, not to enrich corporations. To help those who are unlawfully shunned, mistreated and discriminated against in the workplace. Offering access to high-quality legal representation to thousands of California workers on a contingency basis.
To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers, we welcome you to contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected],or completing our quick contact form located on the bottom of the page.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination is when an employer terminates an employee, and it goes against anti-discrimination laws or contractual breach.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employer is prohibited from making harsh employment-related decisions based on an employee’s race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability. These laws also protect employees from retaliation, meaning that if an employee is a victim of discrimination, they are entitled to file a complaint against their employer without having to worry about being retaliated against.
Below is a list of certain protected activities you are permitted to do without having to face any retaliation by your employer:
Types of Wrongful Termination Claims
Wrongful termination cases all have their own unique circumstances that will have a different outcome compared to others. Below are some common wrongful termination claims that have been submitted in California.
Pregnancy Leave Violation
You may be granted Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) in the event of a pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, or other pregnancy-related conditions. PDL is an unpaid, job-protected leave that is up to 4 months long. If you need to have additional time off to recover from any health complications due to your pregnancy or childbirth, you may request to have FMLA leave.
FMLA leave will provide an additional 12 weeks off for you to focus on your health and bond with your new child. In order for you to be granted FMLA leave, you will need to give the employer a medical certification that proves the status of your condition.
Since FMLA leave is also a job-protected leave from work, you should not expect to receive any form of retaliation against the employer. However, there have been reports of employers firing employees who were either on PDL or FMLA leave.
This is considered unlawful, and is in violation of California’s labor and employment laws. If you were terminated while on PDL or FMLA leave, you may be entitled to file a wrongful termination claim against your employer.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is insurance that gives wage replacement benefits, medical care, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to employees who were injured or became ill while on the job.
At times, when an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, they are met with retaliatory action by their employer. If you were hurt on the job and were immediately terminated once you applied for or began receiving benefits, you may have a wrongful termination claim against your employer.
Wage and Hour or Unpaid Overtime Issues
California requires that most employers abide by certain rules, such as tracking hours, paying overtime, and providing rest and meal breaks for their employees. Wage and hour disputes are complex, but you have legal protections as an employee and are entitled to receive what is lawfully due to you without suffering retaliatory action.
Overtime provisions in California state that a nonexempt employee who is 18 years of age or older – or a minor employee who is 16 or 17 years of age and is not required to attend school, and/or is not prohibited by law from participating in the subject work — cannot be employed for more than eight hours in one workday or for more than forty hours in a workweek, unless that employee receives 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours that are worked over eight hours in a single workday and over 40 hours in a workweek.
If your employer violates California’s wage and hour laws, you have every right to file a complaint, whether it be to HR, CRD, or the EEOC. Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for exercising your legal rights. If you were terminated over submitting a wage and hour complaint, you may be entitled to file a wrongful termination claim.
What Is At-Will Employment?
At-will employment is when an employer fires an employee with or without a good reason, and is not required to give a warning when doing so. For instance, an employer may fire you if you have been slacking off at work or have continued to show up late to work on a day-to-day basis. Neither of these examples would qualify as wrongful termination.
Even though your employer can fire you for whatever reason, they are prohibited from doing so if it involves discriminatory reasons that violate California’s labor and employment laws.
For instance, your employer cannot retaliate against you if you are reporting them for committing one or more suspicious activities, such as wage and hour violations, harassment, or discrimination. In addition, your employer cannot terminate you if you have been approved to go on a job-protected leave. If your employer does fire you for either of these instances, it would be classified as wrongful termination.
What Laws Protect You Against Wrongful Termination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) were established to protect employees from facing wrongful termination amongst many other acts of discrimination and retaliation.
If your employer is committing unlawful actions against you, you will be given the legal right to file a complaint. Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you once they have learned that a complaint has been made. Common forms of retaliation include wrongful termination, a demotion, or a pay cut.
How Do You Report a Wrongful Termination Claim?
You typically cannot report an employer for wrongful termination or retaliation unless you were engaged in a protected activity recognized by the FEHA. For the most part, protected activities include being wrongfully terminated or retaliated against for participating in any FEHA proceedings.
Furthermore, you will not have a case against your employer for retaliation unless they took some form of adverse action against you. Adverse actions can be severe enough to include termination, but that is not necessarily the case. Even demotions or pay cuts may count as adverse actions.
An adverse action can also be any pattern of behavior which adversely and materially affects the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
The first and most important action you must take if you were wrongfully terminated is to gather as much relevant evidence as you can and keep it in a safe place. It is a good idea to document and safekeep any documents or recollections of all conversations with your employer that are relevant to your termination. Please make sure to include places, dates, and the names of all participants.
Generally, you will first need to file a complaint before proceeding with a lawsuit. You can send your complaint over to the CRD. Once the CRD has completed its investigation, and determined whether or not you have a valid claim, you will be notified if you can file a claim in court.
If you have completed all the necessary complaint filing requirements, you may file a lawsuit. It is important that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination?
When you file a wrongful termination claim, you will need to have it submitted within its statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a wrongful termination case may vary depending on what type of claim it is.
The clock begins running on the date you are terminated or otherwise retaliated against. Once filed, wrongful termination cases can take anywhere from months to years to resolve.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination?
Proving wrongful termination can be quite complex. You will need to gather strong evidence that demonstrates how your employer violated California’s labor and employment laws. This includes the following:
What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Termination Claim?
Available damages in a wrongful termination claim include compensatory damages and/or punitive damages. Below is a list of damages you are likely to receive.
Emotional distress is granted if the plaintiff suffered any mental health issues from the abuse they endured by the defendant. Typically, the amount for emotional distress is determined by the jury.
Lost Wages and Benefits
If you have lost your job over an unlawful reason, you may be awarded for the pay you would have received had you not been wrongfully terminated by your employer. This includes overtime pay, unpaid wages, earned wages, and other forms of compensation that was withheld by the employer. The value of lost benefits may also be compensated for, such as healthcare benefits and unused vacation leave.
Front pay will be awarded to the terminated employee to make up for any lost compensation from the time they filed a wrongful termination case and when the court formed a decision.
In some employment-related cases, the plaintiff may collect attorney’s fees. However, in most wrongful termination cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer will be paid a certain percentage of what was won only if they provided legal services under a contingency-fee basis.
Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are granted at the court’s discretion when it has been proven that the defendant’s behavior was harmful. In order to be awarded punitive damages, the plaintiff will need to deliver a strong and well-constructed argument that is supported with evidence to prove that the defendant’s actions were intentional and/or malicious.
There will be a limit on the amount of available damages awarded in a wrongful termination case. It will be determined based on the size of the company.
Wrongfully Terminated? West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help!
Those who have been fired by their employer for illegal reasons are entitled to file a wrongful termination claim against them to recover damages. At West Coast Employment Lawyers, our qualified Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers are available on a 24/7 basis to assess your case. We are committed to helping victims of wrongful termination receive full vindication, fair compensation, and the peace of mind they deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, you may contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or filling out our quick contact form located on the bottom of the page.
This firm was extremely professional! The took over the entire process for us, from beginning to end… I'm not sure what I was expecting but they were fantastic. They helped us make the right decisions and got us great settlements. My mom doesn't have a yelp account but trust me, I speak for both of us when I say I highly recommend their services.
Neama and Allen are awesome lawyers and handled my case as if it was their own. If you are searching for attentive, aggressive, and compassionate lawyers, this is the law firm you need to go with! Their entire team is so professional and never had me questioning their work…Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this tough time of my life.
I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the whole West Coast Employment Lawyers team for all your attention, help, support, dedication, professionalism, and RESULTS... you guys made the entire experience from start to finish easy, simple, and confusion free. I will recommend you guys to anyone I know that needs a lawyer.