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Taking action against wrongful termination

Los Angeles employers don't need a reason to fire you. Sounds like companies can just do what they want, doesn't it? California employers certainly have a lot of hiring and firing freedom, but there are instances when companies go too far.

How do you know whether you've been the victim of a wrongful termination? So many employment laws overlap, it can be difficult to figure out whether one or more of them apply to you. Federal laws cover discrimination and harassment against protected classes, but you'll have to dig deeper – talk with an attorney – to find out whether additional state protections apply.

Maybe you're wondering if you've been dealt a raw deal, while stuck in that Never Never Land called "being laid off." Maybe you've been let go, but feel an employer violated a law. Some employees fear imagined consequences of pressing forward with a complaint or legal claim, but it may be worth the effort to recover lost compensation, severance pay and damages.

Employers violate laws, when terminations involve breaking anti-discrimination laws or retaliating against workers who've filed complaints. Maybe the employer failed to comply with a collective bargaining agreement and company policies or ignored employment promises. Speaking with an attorney can help workers identify whether a lay off or firing was illegal and, more importantly, how and why the action violated their rights.

Sudden unemployment can be an awkward and frightening position for any worker. You may be tempted to act against an employer, a regrettable choice that may harm a potential claim. Rational behavior can help you gather information and evidence to support a claim.

Settlements can be beneficial for laid off or fired workers when goals, like obtaining severance pay, are obtained through negotiations with an employer. Accept no offer, especially in writing, without giving it careful consideration. Better yet, consult an attorney before making a decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Termination Claims" Dec. 25, 2014

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