Wrongful termination, which is also known as unfair dismissal or illegal discharge, happens if you were terminated in violation of your employee rights. Although the at-will employment set-up is being used in most companies today, your employer should still have a legal or valid reason before he can fire you.
You can file a wrongful termination case against your employer if you were fired due to one of these reasons:
- Retaliation- Your employer is prohibited from punishing you if you voiced out your grievances or asserted your rights. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) will protect you from retaliation if you complained that your employer failed to provide you with a safe workplace.
- Discrimination- Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal for employers to make employment decisions that are based on your color, race, nationality, gender, religion, disability, or age.
- Alien status- Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), your employer cannot terminate you due to you alien status. However, you will only be protected by this federal law if it was proven that you are allowed to work in the United States.
If you were unjustly terminated by your employer, you should consider suing him in order to be properly compensated. However, taking legal action is not easy and proving that wrongful termination occurred requires solid evidence.
You may easily win the case if you will do the following:
- Write down the events that led to your termination-It is important for you to take down notes or document everything that happened once your employer started to act differently. You might be able to show the court that your employer has been treating you unfairly even before you were fired.
- Read your employment manual and contract- They will likely contain your rights in the workplace and the different grounds for your suspension and termination. If you were fired even though you did not violate any company policy, you will have a stronger case against your employer.
- Ask your employer to give a written letter, which will state the reasons why you were fired- This letter will tell if your employer has a valid reason for firing you. For example, your employer states that he fired you because of your poor job performance. He may be liable for wrongful termination if you were able to prove that you have done your duties properly and he is only using this reason as an excuse to terminate you.
- Talk to an employment law lawyer- You should seek legal assistance from a Los Angeles Employment Attorney lawyer in order to have a greater chance of winning the lawsuit. This professional will help you compile documents that are in your possession, gather evidence that you need, talk to your employer, and find witnesses who will support your claims.