If you have been terminated from your job, how can you tell whether your termination was illegal or legal? The first thing you should do when you are fired by your employer is to consult our employment law attorneys in Sacramento to determine your legal options. Here are some of the things you should bear in mind before pursuing a wrongful termination suit.
In most states, employment is deemed to be “at-will.” This means you can quit or your employer can fire you for any or no reason. However, a termination that goes against public policy, contractual obligations, discrimination laws, or that is an act of retaliation, is deemed to be illegal.
Employers are not allowed to terminate a person’s employment on the basis of gender, race color, age, religion, national origin, disability, or pregnancy. Apart from these federal laws against discrimination, some states do not allow discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
Some states have whistleblower statutes that protect employees against retaliation after they report unethical or illegal acts by their employer. Our employment law attorneys in Sacramento will let you know whether you are protected by whistleblower statutes. For example, a teacher who is suspended from work for blowing the whistle on unsafe school conditions or wasteful spending is considered to be wrongfully terminated from employment.
In areas with “at will” employment laws, employers are bound by work place policies on disciplinary terminations and procedures. For example, a policy indicating that an employee receives two warnings for arriving late for work before they are fired must be adhered to. If an employee is fired after only one warning, they may have a strong claim for wrongful discharge.
Protected Time Off
Some federal statutes such as the “Family and Medical Leave Act” provide leave for employees to care for their next of kin or to recover from an illness. Employees should also not get fired for not attending work to serve on a jury or to vote.
Though you may have a reason to fight against wrongful termination, you are required to follow certain procedures for making a claim. For example, you may be required to file charges with the “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission” before filing a wrongful termination suit.
To get the most out of your wrongful termination suit, it is advisable to consult the employment law attorneys in Sacramento at Beyer, Pongratz & Rosen. Depending on your circumstances, some of the damages you stand to gain from a wrongful termination law suit include reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, front pay, reasonable accommodations, punitive damages, and injunctive relief.