Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Beyer, Pongratz & Rosen aggressively represents victims of wrongful termination, as well as employers being accused of wrongful termination. Terminations are an unfortunate part of business that are sometimes sad and life-changing events. Sometimes terminations are illegal, such as when they are based on discrimination (discussed in a different section), retaliation, or whistleblowing. Sometimes terminations break contracts or legally-enforceable promises. Other times, termination may simply be unfair but not illegal or otherwise legally actionable.
For employees, often, the first step after being terminated is to file for unemployment or State disability with the Employment Development Department (EDD). If your unemployment benefits are denied, you have the right to appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB). You may win unemployment benefits even if your employer did nothing wrong by terminating you. Our office may consult with you to help prepare you for your hearing or represent you at your hearing.
“Discrimination” is when an employer takes any “adverse employment action” against an employee (or applicant) because of his or her status as a member of a particular class including, without limitation: race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.
“Retaliation” is when an employer takes any “adverse employment action” against an employee (or applicant) because of his or her “legally protected activity.” This “legally protected activity” includes doing something like reporting suspected illegal activity such as theft or discrimination. “Legally protected activity” also includes refusing to do something illegal, such as refusing to fire a woman based on her gender. Furthermore, employees are protected from retaliation for taking medical leave, going to jury duty, testifying in investigations or hearings, supporting a political party, or for exercising other constitutional rights.
“Whistleblower retaliation” is when an employer takes any “adverse employment action” against an employee (or applicant) because he or she reported what he or she believed to be illegal conduct. A “whistleblower” is an employee who discloses information to a government or law enforcement agency, person with authority over the employee (such as a supervisor), or to another employee with authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or who provides information to or testifies before a public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses:
- A violation of a state or federal statute;
- A violation or noncompliance with a local, state or federal rule or regulation, or
- Unsafe working conditions or work practices in the employee’s employment or place of employment.
Technically, the term “whistleblower” can also be an employee who refuses to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state or federal rule or regulation.
Whether you are an employee or employer, the best time to consult an attorney is before the termination occurs, before an employee files a complaint or “whistleblows,” or before the employee quits. If you have any questions about Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, Whistleblowing, or Retaliation, call Beyer, Pongratz & Rosen, PLC for a free consultation at (916) 369-9750.