What Does Wrongful Termination Look Like?
Wrongful termination can manifest in many different ways. The key to understanding whether it took place, however, is determining how likely it that the claimant can prove that they were fired in violation of the law. An employee can also argue that they were illegally fired if they engaged in a protected activity at work, such as discussing wages or unionizing.
Wrongful termination can be recognized in situations such as the following:
- Firing an employee for reporting sexual harassment
- Firing an employee for requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability
- Firing an employee for requesting or during leave provided by the Family Medical Leave Act
- Firing an employee for becoming pregnant
- Firing someone for speaking up about health and safety concerns
- Firing an employee who refused to participate in illegal activity
- Firing an employee for engaging in a protected workplace activity*
*Note: A protected workplace activity is any activity an employee can engage in without fear of retaliation, such as termination. Such activity includes reporting unlawful actions at work, participating in investigations about unlawful actions, demanding unpaid wages, forming or joining unions, taking leave protected by law, and more.
If you believe you were fired for an illegal reason, the best thing to do is to talk to a wrongful termination attorney about what happened and validate your claim. Likewise, employers can consult with a legal representative like ours at Mark Charles Law, APC before taking action to ensure they aren’t violating the law when they need to protect their business interests.
Understanding At-Will Employment
Most employees in the U.S. who work for private employers are employed at-will. This means that an employer is within their rights to terminate an employee for any legal reason or no reason at all as long as the termination doesn’t violate any laws. Likewise, employees are empowered to quit their jobs with or without providing notice under at-will employment.
At-will employment typically does not apply when an employee is working under a contract. In cases where an employee is a member of a union and covered by the union’s contract, the employee may request the union file a grievance on their behalf if they believe they were illegally fired. Whether or not the union will pursue the claim will depend on whether or not it believes the claim has merit.
Employees and employers alike can take the necessary steps toward protecting their rights by speaking with a wrongful termination attorney in Pasadena about their situation. Mark Charles Law, APC can represent either side of these complicated disputes, providing the unique level of service that each requires to prove or mitigate their responsibility for a claim.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for your wrongful termination claim will be based on what agency or law you file your lawsuit under. Both the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act set forth different statutes of limitations.
In a discrimination-based termination:
- employees have 180 days from the firing date to file with the EEOC,
- or 300 days if filing with the DFEH.
- If the agency in question does not resolve the issue, the employee will be issued a right to sue, after which they have 90 days to pursue their lawsuit.
A wrongful termination resulting from a breach of a written contract offers employees a four year statute of limitations. Implied contract cases have a two year statute of limitations.
Request a Consultation Today
If you are faced with taking action on a wrongful termination claim, reach out to Mark Charles Law, APC for legal support. We can provide the level of assistance either side of these disputes needs to protect their interests and assert their rights.
Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online to request a consultation today.