Unjustly Dismissed? Essential Legal Steps in Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim

Getting fired from the job can happen even when it is not your fault. The biggest reason this happens is wrongful termination- which means laying off an employee based on grounds that violate state and federal laws.

Have you been wrongfully terminated without any valid reasons or as a result of retaliation? You can sue your employer for this unlawful action.

Since California is an at-will employment state, filing a claim requires proper evidence. Here are the steps to filing a wrongful termination claim if you have been unjustly dismissed.

Reasons Considered Unlawful for Firing an Employee in California

There are a plethora of reasons that the employment law deems unlawful for terminating an employee. These include:

  • Workplace Discrimination 

If your former employer has fired you because of your age, sexual orientation, race, religion, military status, national origin, or other characteristics the law considers “protected,” it may be a violation and is an illegal act.

  • Breach of Contract 

If your employment contract mentions that you can only be terminated for a valid reason, and still, your boss fires you without giving you one, you can file a complaint against the violation.

  • Retaliation 

California law allows employees to exercise their rights, such as asking for employment benefits, taking meal breaks, and filing a complaint against misconduct. If you were laid off due to retaliation for engaging in one of these protected activities, it may qualify as wrongful termination.

In addition to the above, multiple reasons might be considered unlawful for firing an employee. Speaking to a wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles about your case is important. 

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Termination Case?

In California, employees can have up to 3 years from the date of the last adverse employment action to file their wrongful termination cases.

Once this period gets over, you won’t be able to claim the damages or get your job back.

Make sure to file your complaint at the earliest opportunity to get maximum benefit and relief.

👉Must read: Understanding California Wage and Hour Laws: Everything Workers Need to Know

Legal Steps to File Your Wrongful Termination Claim 

As each wrongful termination claim is different, the process might vary slightly depending on the specifics of your claim. For example- if your employer has violated federal law, you should approach a federal agency like EEOC.

To file your claim in California, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine if You Have a Case 

Sometimes what employees think is a violation of the law is the general behavior of their employer. For example- if the employer is downsizing, they may have no option but to lay off some workers.

Making sure your employer has violated a law, gives you a better opportunity to make your valid wrongful termination claim successful and thus, recover damages. Try to gather as much evidence as possible, such as the termination letter or the notice the employer sent you.

Step 2: Speak with a Licensed Wrongful Termination Attorney

Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, it is time to consult with wrongful termination attorneys. Based on the evidence and details you provide, the experienced wrongful termination lawyer can tell if they can stand a case against your employer and the damages you can recover.

Some reliable California wrongful termination lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means legal help is affordable, and you must hire lawyers to represent you for wrongful termination lawsuits.

Step 3: Register a Complaint Against Your Employer 

Based on the details of your case, the law firm will advise you on the most suitable course of action, such as filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. In addition, your legal representatives will help you file a complaint with the appropriate federal or state administrative agency.

Step 4: Prove the Termination was Against the Law

Proving that the termination was wrongful is the most crucial step of the entire process. Here your employment lawyers will prove that the act by your employer is unlawful and has caused you damage (financial and mental).

Step 5: Seek Damages for Your Illegal Layoff 

If your lawyers successfully prove that your termination was a violation of law, you may recover damages. The type and amount of damages you may be entitled to depends on the strength of your case and the jury.

The general damages include:

  • Lost or unpaid wages
  • Cost of job search
  • Medical expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • Attorney’s fees

File Your Wrongful Termination Claims with Hershey Law 

If you believe your employer has terminated you wrongfully, you should not let them go for violating the wrongful termination laws and letting you suffer. Our employment lawyers are here to help you throughout the process.

From determining if a case exists to help you file a complaint and calculate the damages, you will always find our professional lawyers by your side.

Contact us at 310-929-2190 for a free consultation, and hire the most dedicated California wrongful termination lawyer ready to help you get justice.