What is wrongful termination?
Losing a job is a tough situation, particularly if you suspect it was wrongful termination. If you believe your rights were infringed, you might have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Prior to engaging a wrongful termination lawyer, let’s explore the concept of wrongful termination and determine if your situation warrants legal action.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were over 70,000 charges of workplace discrimination filed in 2021. The EEOC also found that about 30% of all discrimination charges filed resulted in some form of relief for the employee, such as back pay, front pay, or reinstatement. The average amount awarded in wrongful termination cases is about $35,000 in the form of back pay, $100,000 in the form of front pay, and $50,000 in the form of reinstatement.
What Wrongful Termination Laws exist in California to safeguard employees against unjust dismissals?
Wrongful termination laws promote ethical conduct by holding employers accountable, and dissuading practices like retaliation, harassment, and unjust firing. California wrongful termination laws are here to safeguard the rights and well-being of employees. Here are some of the specific laws in California that protect employees from wrongful termination:
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): This law prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, genetic information, or sexual orientation.
- The California Employment Code Section 1102.5: This law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who have engaged in protected activity, such as reporting discrimination or whistleblowing.
- The California Family Rights Act (CFRA): This law requires employers to provide employees with unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons, such as the birth of a child or the care of a sick family member. Employees who are terminated for taking CFRA leave may have a wrongful termination claim.
What to do if you think you have been wrongfully terminated?
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, you should take the following steps:
- Gather evidence: This includes keeping copies of all relevant documents, such as your employment contract, performance reviews, and any correspondence with your employer.
- File a complaint with the EEOC: The EEOC is the federal agency responsible for enforcing workplace discrimination laws. You can file a complaint online or by mail.
- Contact an attorney: An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also represent you in court if necessary.
Wrongful termination cases can be complex and time-consuming. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
What can you get by filing a wrongful termination lawsuit?
When an employee is wrongfully terminated, they may be able to recover damages from their employer. The remedies and damages available in a wrongful termination lawsuit will vary depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your wrongful termination claims. However, some common remedies include:
- Back pay: This is the amount of money you would have earned if you had not been wrongfully terminated.
- Front pay: This is the amount of money you would have earned if you had been able to find a new job at the same or similar salary.
- Reimbursement for lost benefits: This includes things like health insurance, retirement benefits, and vacation pay.
- Damages for emotional distress: This is compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your wrongful termination.
- Punitive damages: These are damages awarded to punish the employer for their wrongful conduct.
The amount of damages that you can recover will depend on the severity of your losses and the circumstances of your wrongful termination claims. In some cases, you may also be able to recover attorney’s fees and court costs.