Wrongful Termination

Highly Experienced Southern California Employment Law Attorney Protecting the Rights of Employees in Los Angeles and Orange County

If you have been fired from your job, you probably have many questions running through your mind, one of which may be, “Was it legal for my employer to fire me?” Most workers in California are at-will employees, meaning they can be fired for no reason at all. However, that doesn’t mean that you can be fired for any reason at all. In fact, there are many factors an employer is not legally permitted to take into account when deciding to terminate an employee.

With over 25 years of experience, the Hardin Law Group is a leading Los Angeles employee rights law firm. Attorney James Hardin represents employees—and only employees—in all types of LA wrongful termination claims, including those involving discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. We take a comprehensive approach to each case we handle, ensuring we do everything possible to shine a light on your former employer’s unlawful employment practices.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Simply put, wrongful termination is the illegal firing of an employee. Wrongful terminations occur when the termination of a worker’s employment violates federal, state, or local laws, the terms of an employment agreement, or an employer’s own termination procedures.

Reasons You Cannot Be Fired

California is an at-will employment state, meaning an employer can terminate your employment without any reason. However, that doesn’t mean they can fire you for the wrong reason. The following are reasons why you cannot be fired in California:

  • Age;
  • Ancestry;
  • Color;
  • Gender or gender expression;
  • Genetic information;
  • Marital status;
  • Military or veteran status;
  • National origin;
  • Physical or mental disability;
  • Race;
  • Sexual orientation

Firing an employee based on any of these amounts to discrimination, which is one type of wrongful termination.

Additionally, employers cannot terminate you for engaging in lawful conduct, as this is considered retaliation. Below are a few of the most common retaliatory reasons why employers fire workers.

  • Complaining about illegal workplace activity;
  • Complaining about not receiving overtime pay;
  • Complaining about unsafe or unhealthy working conditions;
  • Testifying against the company before the Labor Board or Department of Fair Employment and Housing;
  • Reporting workplace sexual harassment;
  • Refusing to engage in illegal conduct at your employer’s request;
  • Refusing to take a polygraph test;
  • Reporting workplace discrimination;
  • Joining a union;
  • Caring for a family member suffering from a serious health condition;
  • Disclosing negative information about the employer’s working conditions;
  • Discussing your earnings or salary with other employees;
  • Engaging in lawful political activities;
  • Filing a workplace injury claim;
  • Seeking workers’ compensation benefits;
  • Missing work to serve on a jury or as a witness in a legal case;
  • Taking medical leave;
  • Taking pregnancy or maternity leave.

If you’ve been fired for any of the above reasons, it’s important you speak with an experienced Orange County wrongful termination lawyer as soon as possible.

Damages in a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

In a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawsuit, the damages you can recover depend on the specifics of the case and which laws your employer violated. However, as a general matter, damages in these lawsuits can include:

Lost Wages and Benefits: This includes the salary and benefits you would have earned from the date of termination until the date of judgment. If you found a new job that pays less, you may be entitled to the difference in wages.

Future Lost Wages: If the wrongful termination has long-term impacts on your career trajectory, you may be awarded damages for future lost earnings.

Emotional Distress: Employees wrongfully terminated may experience significant stress, anxiety, or depression. Compensation for emotional distress aims to acknowledge and redress these non-economic damages.

Punitive Damages: In cases where your employer’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious, the court might award punitive damages. These are intended to punish the employer and deter other employers from engaging in similar conduct.

Attorney’s Fees and Costs: In some cases, the court may order your employer to pay your legal fees and other costs.

Reinstatement: If you are interested in getting your job back, the court may order your employer to reinstate you to your former position.

Wrongful termination damages vary widely, so it’s important to consult with a Los Angeles unlawful termination lawyer to better understand the potential outcomes of your case and what you can do to maximize your chances of success.

Were You Wrongfully Terminated by an Employer in Los Angeles or Orange County?

If you were recently fired for what you believe to be an illegal reason, the Hardin Law Group can help. We recognize that your job isn’t just a place you spend most of your day; it’s also part of your identity. And unexpectedly losing a job for an unlawful reason is more than frustrating—it can be demoralizing. Attorney James Hardin has dedicated his career to advocating on behalf of Los Angeles workers and has connected countless clients with meaningful compensation, enabling them to more easily move on with their lives after an illegal termination. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call our Los Angeles employment lawyer at 310-606-2122. You can also connect with our Orange County employment attorney by calling 949-337-4810. Calling is free, and we will not accept payment for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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