Encino Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Californians are generally employed “at will,” which means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship when they want to do so. Employers do not have to have a specific reason to terminate an employee, though, as with most laws, there are exceptions to at-will employment laws in California. In some cases, employers can be accused of and held liable for wrongful termination.
Many wrongful termination allegations are mistaken or maliciously false, though defending against these claims can be time-consuming and costly. It is important to have representation and assistance from the right Encino wrongful termination attorneys to reduce your costs and liability whenever possible.
When Wrongful Termination Claims Arise
There are a number of reasons why terminating an employee can be wrongful. These include:
The termination is in violation of the law. There are many federal and California laws that give employees rights. When an employee thinks they were fired in violation of their rights, they can seek damages for wrongful termination. Firing an employee might be unlawful if it involves any of the following:
- Discrimination based on protected characteristics
- Retaliation for complaining of discrimination or harassment
- Retaliation for whistleblowing
- Retaliation for requesting or taking valid FMLA time
- Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Retaliation for complaining of wage and hour violations
The termination is in violation of public policy. Even if termination does not violate the language of the law, it might violate public policy protecting the interests of employees. Two main situations when this might occur include:
- Termination because an employee exercised a legal right or duty, such as voting or serving on a jury
- Termination because an employee refused to engage in unethical or unlawful conduct when requested by an employer
- Termination for reporting unlawful or unethical conduct of an employer
The termination breaches an employment contract. Not all employment relationships are at will, as some companies have employees sign employment contracts. Often, these contracts require that an employer have good cause to terminate an employee before the contract expires. If an employee believes that there was no cause for their firing, they might allege that the employer breached the employment contract and should be liable for wrongful termination.
Defending Against Wrongful Termination Claims
Companies held liable for wrongful termination must compensate employees for various damages, including lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, lost opportunities, and more. Damages can add up quickly, so it is important for employers to effectively defend against these claims.
The right attorneys can examine the allegations against your company and identify legal defenses. For example, if an employee alleges their termination was based on discriminatory reasons, you can defend against the accusation by presenting other valid and lawful reasons for the firing.
Discuss Your Situation with an Encino Wrongful Termination Lawyer Right Away
The legal team of Kaufman McAndrew LLP helps employers avoid liability for wrongful termination whenever possible. Do not wait to contact us as soon as you believe you need the assistance of a wrongful termination attorney in Encino.