As an employee in California, you have rights. Coupled with those rights are responsibilities. Both are meant to make sure that work environments are safe and productive for everyone. Sometimes, though, things happen. An issue arises. If your rights are violated in any way or if an employee fails to uphold their obligations, you may have legal action to compensate for any damages you suffer.
But oftentimes, it's understanding whether or not you have a right to file a claim. Many people fail to file a claim because they fear for their job. These are things you should not have to worry about. What's more, you should be compensated when you suffer damages. At Helix Law Firm, our employment law attorney based in Lemon Grove/San Diego handles a wide range of employment issues. Contact us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a FREE consultation and to know whether or not you can take legal action for harm suffered by an employer or co-worker.
Can my Employer in California Fire Me for Any Reason?
Whether or not your employer can fire you for any reason, or no reason at all, depends on whether or not you are an at-will employee. If you are an at-will employee, your employer can fire you for any reason except where it is unlawful. For example, they are not allowed to fire you due to your race, sex, religion, or disability.
If, however, you signed a written employment contract, the employer may only be able to terminate your position based on the terms and conditions of the contract.
Again, as this is an area of law that can be state-specific, it is best to speak with an attorney if you believe you were illegally terminated.
How Do I Know If I Have a Wrongful Termination Claim in California?
Determining whether or not your termination was wrongful can be a complicated task, and the rules for determination vary by state. Most at-will employees can be terminated without reason. Wrongful termination is different from unfair termination. Wrongful indicates the employer did something unlawfully.
Are you a member of a protected class? For instance, what is your ethnicity, national origin, religion, or gender? Are you pregnant? Are you over the age of 40? Do you have a disability? If fired because you are a member of one of these classes, you may have been wrongfully terminated. The next task is to be able to prove it.
On the other hand, if you are terminated because your boss favors another person, there were personality conflicts, or you posted something on social media that your boss did not like, these things do not constitute wrongful termination.
I Complained at Work about Discrimination, and my Employer Retaliated. What Can I Do in California?
Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for complaining about work-related discrimination. However, they may still discipline you or terminate your employment for reasons unrelated to the complaint.
If you feel like your employer is retaliating against you for the discrimination complaint, you should first speak with a supervisor or a human resources representative. If this does not resolve the issue, you can address your concern with your state's fair employment agency or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An attorney can also advise you on your best course of action in these or other situations.
What is a Whistleblower Claim?
When an employee suspects that there is misconduct or fraud occurring within their place of employment, and they report this activity, they are known as a whistleblower. When this occurs, employers often seek to retaliate against the employee by having them fired or transferred. Because of this, federal and state laws have been enacted to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers.
A whistleblower claim is a formal complaint exposing or describing certain types of alleged fraud or misconduct.
Do I Need an Employment Law Attorney in California?
Whether you need an employment law attorney is a trick question. An employment law attorney can always be helpful regardless of the situation, but you are not required to retain one. It becomes important to do so the more complex or nuanced your case is. Even when filing the initial claim with a state or federal department, an attorney can make sure you do so properly and strategically. The people working in these government jobs usually mean well, but they have a demanding workload and cannot take the time to sift through the complaints and get the details right, and that can be detrimental to you.
Ultimately, speaking to an attorney can help you understand what you need, what's at stake, and how to best proceed.
Contact an Employment Law Attorney in Lemon Grove/San Diego Today
If you believe your employer has violated your rights under federal or state law, our employment law lawyer in Lemon Grove/San Diego can review your case and advise you of any legal action you can (and should) take. At Helix Law Firm, we uphold the rights and interests of our clients and work toward making sure employers do the same. Contact us using our online form or call us at (619) 850-4574 to schedule a FREE consultation today.