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Attorney Brandon M. Banks - Employment Lawyer in Bay Area | Employment Lawyer in San Francisco
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Fight Back After Being Wrongfully Fired

When you have been wrongfully fired from a job, you are left feeling rightfully overwhelmed with future financial losses in mind. Many individuals start looking for a new job without considering the options that they may have. Employees have certain rights under California law. An employer should never get away with violating your rights as an employee.

At Brandon Banks Law, APC, we will represent you after you have experienced wrongful job loss in California. Attorney Brandon Banks has extensive experience litigating wrongful termination matters and will apply that knowledge to every aspect of your claim.

When a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit May be Necessary

California is known as an “at-will” state when it comes to the workplace. This means that an employer can technically fire an employee for any reason, or no reason at all as long as it does not violate public policy. However, there are some unique circumstances that could give rise to a wrongful termination lawsuit. These include some of the following:

  • Being in a Protected Class: An employer is not permitted to illegally fire an employee just because they are part of a protected class, including but not limited to their race, national original, sexual orientation, sex, religious affiliation, gender identity, medical condition, veteran status, citizenship status, and other related aspects. If an employer retaliates against you because of your protected class, because you filed a harassment complaint, or you testified in a lawsuit regarding discrimination, you have the right to file a claim.
  • Being a Whistleblower: These terminations occur when an employer fires their employee for reporting a workplace’s violation of a law to a government agency. Under Labor Code 1102.5 LC, you have the right to report a suspected violation of the law without the concern of being fired from your workplace.
  • Implied Contract Situations: Implied contracts are agreements between two parties even if there is no documented written contract on file. In these situations, an employer agrees that they will not fire an employee without good cause.
  • Retaliation to Sexual Harassment Complaint: Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. If you were sexually harassed by an employer or employee and you filed a complaint that led to a firing, you have protections.
  • Public Policy: You could have a wrongful termination claim if you refused to follow your employer’s orders to do something illegal in the workplace and they fired you because of it. In many of these cases, criminal fraud laws are at play.
  • Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim: In California, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you filed a workers’ comp claim because you were injured on the job and you were fired because of a retaliating employer, you have grounds to a wrongful termination lawsuit.
  • Taking Leave: Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you have certain protections regarding your leave. If you were fired within 30 days of using paid sick leave or within 90 days of returning from FMLA leave, you may have a claim.
  • Mass Layoff Without Notice: California’s Worker Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act states that employers are supposed to provide employees with 60 days’ notice of closing a facility or conducting a mass layoff of more than 50 employees. If they have not given you notice and you were fired, you may be able to make a wrongful termination claim.

There are many situations that qualify for a wrongful termination claim under California law. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated due to any one of these unique circumstances, you may have the right to file a claim. However, as these claims can be incredibly complex and difficult to litigate at times, it is crucial that you seek experienced legal help.Gathering Critical Evidence in Your Claim

Evidence is key when proving a wrongful termination lawsuit in California. Under federal law, the burden of proof is on you to show that you were fired for a reason that was not legal in nature. You must be able to prove that there was a case of discrimination in some way. Even though your employer can fight this and say that there was a valid reason for your firing, you have every right to show evidence stating otherwise.

Evidence can include a track record of discrimination in the past, documentation showing that you were treated unfairly over a significant period of time, or even eyewitness statements from others who have seen the discrimination or witnessed it themselves previously. Reporting these events to human resources is also a good idea to have them documented if your claim makes it to settlement or trial.

Time Limits in a Wrongful Termination Claim

It is important to seek legal advice right away after you believe you were wrongfully fired from a job in California. This is due to the fact that you have certain time limitations under California’s statute of limitations. As with most states regarding these claims, you typically have two years to file a claim against your employer before you are barred from doing so. There are certain situations where the statute allows more time, such as three years in whistleblowing cases and three years to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

It is vital that you get a start on your wrongful termination case not only to meet these limitations but also because you do not want crucial evidence to disappear. When the events of your firing are fresh in your mind, it can be helpful to retell these details to a lawyer who understands you and what you are facing. You want to ensure that your case is taken seriously and that it is not dismissed for failing to comply with deadlines.

Damages Available in a California Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

In a California wrongful termination lawsuit, there are various types of damages that you may be able to recover. These include some of the following:

  • Lost Wages and Benefits: You may be able to receive damages for lost wages and benefits that you could have expected if you were not wrongfully terminated. Along with wages, these benefits include aspects like healthcare benefits, unused vacation, and more.
  • Reinstatement of the Job: Even though many people do not want the same job back after they have been wrongfully terminated and will begin to seek new employment, you could be granted job reinstatement if you choose to return.
  • Loss of Future Wages: You may be able to receive compensation for any future wages that you could have expected if you were able to remain at the job.
  • Pain and Suffering: This includes compensation for mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, or depression that was caused by wrongfully losing your job.
  • Litigation Costs: You may be able to receive damages that pay for attorney’s fees and the costs of litigation so that you do not have to take care of them on your own.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are meant to punish an employer for their wrongful behavior. These damages are non-economic in nature and are commonly seen in cases involving discrimination.

Of course, the damages that you will receive depend on the exact circumstances of your claim and the losses you have suffered due to your firing. Though no settlement or trial amount is set in stone, your lawyer may be able to give you a better idea of what damages you can expect as you move forward with a claim.

Seek Justice Following a Wrongful Termination in California

It can be beneficial to consult with a wrongful termination lawyer after you believe you were wrongfully fired from your job. Because it is challenging to face the legal process after a firing, you may need expert advice and knowledge that you cannot get anywhere else.

At Brandon Banks Law, APC, we offer you the representation that you need to feel whole again after the sudden loss of your job. With years of litigation experience, we are here for you when you need us the most. Please contact us today to take the first steps in your wrongful termination claim in California.

Disclaimer: While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call the firm or complete the intake form below.