How to Determine if You Have Been Wrongfully Terminated in California
If you have been terminated from your job, you may be wondering if the termination was legal. Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for an illegal reason, such as discrimination or retaliation. In this blog post, we’ll outline the step-by-step process for determining if you have been wrongfully terminated in California.
Step 1: Review your employment contract or company policies.
The first step in determining if you have been wrongfully terminated is to review your employment contract or company policies. Your contract or policies may outline the specific circumstances under which you can be terminated, such as for poor performance or violation of company policies. If your contract or policies do not specify the reason for your termination, it’s important to ask your employer for the reason in writing.
Step 2: Determine if you were terminated for an illegal reason.
In California, it is illegal to terminate an employee for certain reasons, such as discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, or disability. It is also illegal to terminate an employee in retaliation for complaining about discrimination or harassment, or for exercising their legal rights, such as taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you believe you were terminated for one of these illegal reasons, it’s important to gather any relevant documentation to support your claim.
Step 3: Consider the timing of your termination.
The timing of your termination can also be a factor in determining if it was wrongful. For example, if you were terminated shortly after complaining about discrimination or harassment, this may suggest that the termination was retaliatory. Similarly, if you were terminated shortly after exercising your legal rights, such as taking FMLA leave, this may also suggest wrongful termination.
Step 4: Seek legal advice.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced employment attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on your options. They can also help you gather any additional evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, if necessary.
Step 5: Consider your options for pursuing a claim.
If you have been wrongfully terminated, you may have several options for pursuing a claim. You may be able to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or you may be able to file a lawsuit in court. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Determining if you have been wrongfully terminated in California requires careful review of the circumstances surrounding your termination. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, including reviewing your employment contract or company policies, determining if you were terminated for an illegal reason, and seeking legal advice, you can better understand your rights and options for pursuing a claim. Remember, it’s important to act quickly if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, as there are strict time limits for filing a complaint or lawsuit and relevant evidence to support your claims such as witnesses and documents may no longer be available.