San Ramon Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Wrongful Termination Attorneys in San Ramon
As a hardworking employee, you have the right to receive fair treatment under the law.
Being fired can disrupt your career and livelihood, especially if you did not see it coming. If you were fired for unlawful reasons, you may have a wrongful termination claim against your employer. Firing a worker based on their age, race or complaints about unpaid wages are just some examples of ways in which wrongful termination may occur.
Wrongful termination cases, however, are not always straightforward. They require an in-depth knowledge of California labor laws. At Erlich Law Firm, our San Ramon wrongful termination lawyers are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve and hold your employer accountable for their illegal workplace practices.
When is a Termination Legally Wrongful in California?
A termination can certainly seem “wrong” if you were fired despite doing your job well and working hard. Around 40 percent of Americans have been fired from a job in their lifetime. However, even when a termination seems unfair, it may not be wrongful under the law.
Because California is an “at-will” employment state, an employer or employee has the right to end the employment relationship at any time, even if there is no “cause.” Under the law, an employer can fire you at any time, with or without reason.
There are many circumstances under which an employee may be fired. However, a termination becomes wrongful when it is based on an illegal reason, such as when a worker:
- Has membership of a protected class: Workers cannot be fired based on discriminatory reasons that violate state or federal anti-discrimination laws. Age, race, national origin, gender, disability and religion are some of the personal characteristics that are protected under the law.
- Files a complaint in good faith: Employees have the right to report workplace discrimination or harassment, as well as complain about their employer’s illegal activities.
- Requests payment of unpaid wages: Workers have the right to ask their employer to pay all their owed wages in full, including overtime, commissions and legally mandated meal or rest breaks.
- Faces retaliation: It is illegal for employers to fire employees in retaliation for taking medical leave, refusing to participate in illegal activities, complaining about workplace safety or engaging in other activities protected under the law.
- Has independent contractor status: Independent contractors do not enjoy many of the labor protections that employees have. An attorney can help you determine whether you have been misclassified as an independent contractor.
- Experiences a contractual breach: Employers cannot fire workers for reasons that violate the terms and conditions of an employment contract.
Many wrongful termination claims arise from discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. In 2021, 56 percent of the claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involved retaliation. In 2020, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing received 2,350 disability discrimination complaints, 1,638 gender discrimination complaints and 1,548 race discrimination complaints.
Why You Need a Lawyer on Your Side
Even if you believe you were fired for unlawful reasons, you may have difficulty proving that your employer fired you illegally. The employer may try to cover up their true reasons for your termination and have legal resources to fight back against your allegations.
Having an experienced San Ramon wrongful termination lawyer in your corner gives you a better chance of a successful claim. Erlich Law Firm can help you figure out whether you have a strong case, even before you decide to take legal action.
If you were wrongfully terminated, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for lost wages and other costs. In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages if your employer engaged in malicious conduct.
What to Do if You Suspect Wrongful Termination
Sometimes a worker is fired out of the blue. Other times an employee may take notice of signals that indicate their employer is about to fire them. Consulting a San Ramon wrongful termination lawyer can provide clarity about your legal options and employee rights. Additionally, taking the following steps can strengthen your position if you decide to sue your employer for wrongful termination in the future:
- Document everything: Note in writing details of every illegal activity you witnessed and what was going on right before you were fired. Send the information to human resources or your supervisor. Keep a copy of all written communications for your records.
- Collect relevant records: Without violating the law, obtain copies of documents related to your claim. Examples include pay stubs, timecards, performance reviews, internal memos or handbooks detailing the company’s policies.
- Cooperate with investigations: If your employer decides to launch an internal investigation, you should cooperate fully. Document in detail everything related to the investigation.
- Remain professional: While it can be difficult to stay calm when you are suffering unlawful treatment, you should try to be polite and professional. Do not act on any negative feelings you may have against your employer. An employee who loses their cool can end up making the situation worse.
- Gather witness information: Make note of the names and contact details of anyone in the workplace who saw the employer engage in unlawful activity. Some examples include coworkers, clients or vendors.
- Understand your rights: Ask your employer questions about the reasons you were fired. California law provides workers with important rights. You do not have to submit to your employer’s pressure to quit your job or give up your legal rights to file a wrongful termination claim in exchange for a nominal severance package.
Call for a free case evaluation
If you suspect you were wrongfully terminated, you do not have to face your employer alone. Our San Ramon wrongful termination lawyers will investigate the circumstances of your termination. We will help you obtain the compensation you deserve when your livelihood is in jeopardy. Contact Erlich Law Firm today for a free initial case evaluation. Speaking to an experienced attorney about your case is a crucial step in holding your employer accountable.
FREE CASE REVIEW
When employees' legal rights are violated, we take time to explain their legal options, listen to their goals, and aggressively argue their case until we achieve the resolution they deserve.