Understanding EEOC LawsEvery legal interpretation of wrongful termination leads to one main definition: an employee was fired for reasons that were against federal, state, or tribunal laws. However, employers think they can leverage California’s ‘right to dismiss without reason’ law to whatever purpose they see fit. This oftentimes means great employees are let go without knowing the reasons why. In California, losing your job for a perceived violation of an employment contract, because employees possess certain creeds or colors, or because an employer retaliated after being reported to local governing bodies, such as the California FEHA, is illegal. When working on a federal contract, or if the state employee is retaliated against, certain federal statues can be used in defense of any claims brought by the employee. This means that both FEHA and EEOC can work in tandem to bring employers to justice. If an employee is considered a 1099 subcontractor, or neither party has a contractual obligation to the other, a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney may find it difficult to bring suit because no employment contract exists to wrongfully terminate. However, under EEOC laws, there may be a possibility of bringing suit under breach of contract laws if sufficient evidence exists. It also may be possible to prove that a 1099 subcontractor, who didn’t have a relationship with an employer, was controlled enough by having specified work hours, specified supervisors to report to, or enough provable control by an employer to merit being considered an employee by California law. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers has enough experience defending cases where the definition of ‘employees’ was both clearly defined and somewhat ambiguous.
Types of Wrongful Termination in Los AngelesWrongful termination cases will never be identical; each employee who brings claims of being terminated without legal cause has their underlying circumstance, and each suit its meritorious defense. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers looks at all cases, taking each case as serious as the next. Here are some common types of wrongful termination claims brought to our office:
Race-basedIt’s sad that even five decades after the civil rights act written into law, cases of employees being terminated because of certain skin color are still prevalent. But unfortunately, it’s true. Being terminated or denied a promotion because you’re an African-American, Pacific Islander, of Asian descent or even Hispanic is not only illegal, it’s unethical and proves how infantile employers can still be. If you are terminated based off race, you have a substantial case which Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers will gladly litigate for you.
Reporting or having been sexually assaultedThe perversion of our society reaches our places of employment. Single executives, supervisors, or even married folk have no qualms about assaulting younger professional women, even some men, in their place of business. If you are terminated because you were sexually assaulted, or stood up for a friendly coworker who was sexually assaulted and got fired, you have a claim of wrongful termination amongst many other things.
National origin1058, or roughly 11%, of all EEOC complaints in 2015 were related to national origin. People from Africa, Europe, Asia, and all other countries who make their homes in California are protected from such hatred. If your employer terminates you because you’re from Israel and have an Israeli accent, for example, our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will gladly fight to recover damages caused by your termination.
Religious affiliationIt’s not completely uncommon for employers to terminate because you do not practice an ‘approved’ or ‘preferred’ religion. In 2016, 274 cases of religious discrimination leading to termination were reported by the EEOC, a total of 7.2% of the state’s wrongful termination total. When, where, why, and how you practice your religion is your business. If you are terminated for performing a daily ritual at work (provided it’s not purposely stalling operations), your employer can be held liable financially, and punitively.
Color-relatedAlthough it coincides closely with race, color related terminations aren’t entirely impossible to prove. If you’re being scrutinized because your skin pigmentation doesn’t match what your employer thinks it should, or if you’re purposely being called names then terminated based on skin color, our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will litigate on your behalf.
RetaliationA growing trend in California-based firings is being terminated because an employer felt like retaliating against an employee for whatever reason. They may not like the employee, or perhaps the company was performing duplicitous acts for which the employee thought reporting said acts were doing justice for the greater good. Retaliation is a huge no-no in EEOC and FEHA codes, with juries often rewarding whistleblowers or victims in general very large sums of money while reprimanding employers with heavy fines and forcing them to make sweeping changes to their codes of conduct.
Age-based259 EEOC claims of age discrimination were reported in California for the fiscal year 2016. While not entirely common, our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will fight for employees who were dismissed because they were either growing too old for their position or don’t fit a specific age demographic suddenly being sought by company executives.
DisabilityThe Americans With Disabilities Act provided a pathway for those who wanted to enter the workforce but had specific disabilities that may prevent them from working certain hours, or in certain positions or situations. Being terminated in the state of California because you are disabled but are still able to perform vital job functions, or being made fun of because your stature, method of walking, or talking aren’t similar to everyone else’s is illegal, unethical, and easily litigable with a preponderance of the evidence that an employer based their firing off your disability.
Marriage statusDuring your job interview, or throughout your employment, an employer cannot terminate you because you’re single, widowed, married, or are in a same-sex marriage. Prospective employees cannot be asked if they are in a relationship or union during the interview. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers has fought judiciously to protect employees who were terminated based off of their relationship preference, or their lack of voicing such when asked.
Military service statusWhether or not someone has served in the military, what branch they decided to serve in, or their current discharge status is protected under the EEOC. Unless the position being applied for specifically mandates that military personnel is necessary, an employer cannot discharge you simply because you never served, or served in a branch the employer may not be fond of.
Purposeful hostilityAn employer may not incite, for the purposes of making an employee feel uncomfortable, a workplace that is purposely hostile. This means the employer cannot request other employees ‘force out’ someone the employer is targeting for termination, hoping the employee will become intimidated and simply walk out instead. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers takes incitation of workplace hostility seriously, and will rigorously defend ex-employees ousted because an employer created an unnecessarily hostile workplace. This list is obviously not all-inclusive; there are many extenuating circumstances that would cause an employer to wrongfully terminate some or all of their workforce. In California, it seems to happen every day. When you call the wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles employees have used in the past, Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, you put a genuine ally in your corner ready to fight all facets of wrongful termination.
Immigration statusIf you have been given the legal right to work in the United States, but have not been awarded US citizenship, you’ll work as an immigrant. Employers who hire you may not later discriminate because of your immigration status or terminate you because your immigration status has not been upgraded to permanent resident status. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers handles claims like this frequently, with our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney getting favorable results in a fair amount of time.
Violation of Public PolicyEmployers may not ask you to commit a felony to cover up their wrongdoing, nor can they terminate your employment for refusing to do so. Some examples of this may include failing to manipulate orderly earnings reports, which may influence a stock’s value. If you’ve been terminated after being asked to commit fraud than report such to a government agency, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for an employer forcing you to violate public policy.
I’ve Been Wrongfully Dismissed from My Job. What Do I Do?If you’ve been an unfortunate victim of job termination without just cause, your next steps could dictate the outcome of any claim you make. In California, the EEOC must have a claim on file within a certain amount of time after the incident occurred. Their determination will dictate what steps are followed next. While you can retain Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers anytime you’ve been wrongfully terminated, a procedure must be followed, or our hands may be tied, too. Follow these steps if you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job in the state of California:
- If you’ve been asked to clean out your desk or workspace, do so in a calm and quiet manner. Witnesses for the employer may be looking for reasons to discredit you knowing you’ll probably file an EEOC claim, so keep a cool head.
- Ask any employees, in a discreet manner, if they’d be willing to be contacted by an attorney or be included in your EEOC claim. Any friends or relatives you work with would be ideal character witnesses.
- Contact your local FEHA office to report your incident, and learn more about the process of filing an Equal Employment Opportunity claim. It’s at this point you may also retain a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney from our office.
- If you’ve not been paid for your final week or pay period of service, bring documentation of your last paycheck before being wrongfully terminated and let our office, the FEHA, or both know you’re expected take-home pay for your final paycheck. We want to make sure the employer doesn’t retaliate against your pay, as that could potentially be another violation.
- It’s also a good idea at this phase to bring any bills that could go into arrears because of your termination; this falls under ‘pain and suffering’.
Fighting Wrongful Termination Alone? Read This.Wrongful termination laws have been heavily scrutinized since the early 1980s because employees who are dismissed in bad faith aren’t always afforded the punitive and emotional distress compensation they feel that they are rightfully entitled to. This fact becomes more amplified when ex-employees filed suit prose since those who lack legalese aren’t fully aware of what benefits are available to them should they present a successful case injury trial. Moreover, to prove a wrongful termination case, litigants must:
- Provide substantial evidence their job loss resulted from reckless termination under California law, usually stemming from discrimination or hostility
- Prove that their case can be placed in the jurisdiction of California courts
- Prove that their job loss caused undue financial hardship
- Prove that hardship is worth ‘x’ amount of money being sought
Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers DifferenceNow that you’ve had an opportunity to learn more about wrongful termination, perhaps you’re contemplating hiring a law firm to recover lost wages, benefits, or even reinstate your position. Since no magic eight-ball exists to predict the outcome of court cases, many ex-employees who’ve been dismissed unfairly may be apprehensive in hiring legal counsel to protect their interests. Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, a wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles has known and trusted for decades, with love to fight next to you in cases where your job was stripped by no fault of your own. The benefits of hiring a law firm include:
- The peace of mind knowing someone other than yourself believes in your innocence.
- Having access to competent counsel with knowledge of state and federal courts, and complete understanding of employment law.
- An increased chance of receiving a much more favorable settlement, as opposed to what you may receive fighting an employer alone. This may include recovering compensation for loss of consortium, which means your spouse or significant other suffered losses because of your termination.
- The opportunity to hold your employer accountable for the negligence of their duty, which may prevent other employees from encountering similarly horrifying actions in the future.
- Negotiation power which may keep your case out of court is at your disposal. Because many companies prefer to save face, settling out of court is often more prudential than a lengthy trial.