Wrongful Termination And Retaliation Claims
An employer can fire an employee for many reasons. However, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee for a discriminatory or harassment-related reason.
An employer that engages in wrongful discharge can be held responsible for employment law violations.
At Bononi Law Group, LLP, we represent workers who have been illegally fired. To talk to an attorney in a free consultation, please call our office at 213-550-5503.
What Is Employment At Will?
In California and throughout most of the United States, employment is typically considered to be “at will,” unless there is a contract or collective bargaining agreement between the employer and the employee. At-will employment generally means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment at any time and for almost any reason. Even under at-will employment, however, employers still may not terminate an employee as the result of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
Employers cannot discriminate or wrongfully terminate employees based upon gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, medical condition, military service, national origin and other issues, even in at-will employment states.
Likewise, employers may not terminate employees who have been injured on the job and decide to file for workers’ compensation benefits, employees who report violations of public policy to state or federal agencies or employees who are covered by contractual protections.
Our firm provides legal protection for individuals who have been wrongfully terminated in California. We have recovered substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Wrongful Discharge Is Illegal
Many employees have difficulty understanding whether their employer engaged in wrongful discharge. It can be tricky for an employee to know for certain whether the employer relied on an illegal reason as cause for termination.
We know how to investigate employees’ allegations of wrongful termination. We know how to collect important evidence that can bolster a claim of wrongful discharge.
Your Employer Cannot Fire You For Any Of The Following Reasons:
- Because you filed a claim for discrimination based on gender, race, religion, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation or any other protected status
- Because you supported another’s discrimination claim
- Because you claim to have been sexually harassed at work or you support the claim of another
- Because you’re pregnant
- Because you served in the armed forces
- Because you requested overtime pay or additional benefits
- Because you requested time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Because you have reported your employer for an employment law or environmental violation or any other legal infringement
- Because of your race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and numerous other protected statuses
- Because you are backing a co-worker’s claim of harassment, discrimination or whistleblowing
Your employer also cannot retaliate against you for any of the above reasons. Retaliation may include termination, but can also include:
- Passing you over for a necessary training opportunity
- Denying you a promotion or raise
- Denying you any other privilege associated with your employment
Wrongful Termination Of Business Executives
Business executives often feel untouchable in their positions of power within a company. They are driving forces behind successful businesses. They make difficult decisions. They are hired for their leadership abilities and business acumen. Executives rise to the top of their organizations, often among stiff competition and against great odds.
Which is why a job termination comes as such a shock.
Worse, sometimes executives are fired for illegal or discriminatory reasons. It is important to remember that presidents, vice presidents, CEOs, CMOs and senior executives are protected by the same state and federal laws as other workers.
These are complex cases, and the financial stakes are high. Many executives have spent their careers working toward an executive level position. When that position abruptly ends, it is important to take action.
Were You Wrongfully Fired From Your Job In The Health Care Industry?
Employers in the health care industry are barred from wrongfully terminating employees in California. The health care industry must follow both state and federal employment laws. When a health care employer wrongfully discharges an employee, the employee may be entitled to compensation that includes lost wages, lost benefits and punitive damages.
As with other industry, health care employers may not terminate an employee because of race, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. Health care employers also may not fire you for reporting sexual harassment or for supporting another’s allegation of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Other examples of wrongful discharge in the health care industry include termination based on:
- Taking medical leave
- Reporting illegal medical billing practices
- Reporting wage and hour violations
- Serving in the armed forces
- Reporting medical privacy law violations
Holding your health care employer responsible for wrongful termination will not only provide you with the compensation you deserve, but will also help prevent future employment law violations against health care employees.
Were You Wrongfully Fired From Your Job In The Film And Entertainment Industry?
The entertainment industry can be a rough environment for employees. The stress usually associated with a position in the industry, coupled with the difficulty of breaking into it, is a burden for many in Southern California.
While most employment in the entertainment industry is at will, meaning the employer can terminate without cause, there are exceptions to the at-will employment rule. Employers cannot fire an employee in the entertainment industry for any of the following reasons:
Discrimination based on gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, religion, national origin or any other protected status, or for supporting another’s claim.
Wrongful retaliation is also common in the entertainment industry. Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer fires or demotes you or denies you a promotion for reporting an illegal action such as discrimination, harassment or a wage and hour violation. Entertainment employers are not allowed to fire you just because you reported or supported someone else’s report of an illegal employment law practice.
If you were fired after reporting the illegal or discriminatory actions of your employer, you may be the victim of wrongful termination and retaliation. Talk to an attorney who can evaluate your case and help you determine your legal options.