Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
California is an at-will state according to the California Labor Code, which means that employees in Los Angeles who are not working under the terms of employment contracts are at-will employees. In at-will states, employers and employees can end the employment relationship at any time, for almost any reason (other than an unlawful one), without needing cause for termination. However, just because California is an at-will state does not mean that employers can take unlawful actions against employees. Wrongful termination lawsuits arise when an employee alleges that she or he was fired by an employer for an unlawful reason.
Generally speaking, wrongful termination claims arise under California state or federal law, and sometimes in relation to California public policy. If you need assistance filing a wrongful termination claim or you are facing a wrongful termination case as an employer, one of our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can begin working with you on your case.
Discrimination and Wrongful Termination in Los Angeles
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (DFEH), and various federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit an employer from terminating an employee for discriminatory reasons. To be clear, an employer cannot terminate an employee for any of the following reasons:
- Sexual orientation or gender identity;
- Disability; or
- Age (over 40).
Even if an employee is an at-will employee, indications that the employee was fired because of discrimination could result in a successful wrongful termination claim.
Los Angeles Protections Against Retaliation
Employers in Los Angeles cannot retaliate against employees for exercising their rights under federal or state law, or for participating in investigations into workplace allegations concerning discrimination, wage and hour violations, or other legal claims. Terminating an employee from his or her job as retaliation for filing a discrimination case or a wage and hour claim is unlawful. In Los Angeles workplace, retaliation for any of the following actions is unlawful:
- Filing a claim under state or federal law;
- Participating in a workplace discrimination or harassment investigation;
- Reporting an unsafe work condition;
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim;
- Participating in protected whistleblower activities;
- Refusing to break state or federal law at the instruction of the employer;
- Reporting criminal activity in the workplace; or
- Performing a legal obligation.
Any termination in response to an employee’s protected behavior is considered to be against public policy in California and is a clear exception to the terms of at-will employment.
Breach of Contract Claims in Los Angeles
When an employee has an employment contract and is terminated in a manner that is not in accordance with the contract, a breach of contract claim can allege wrongful termination. Employment contracts can be express contracts that have been clearly written and signed by the parties, but sometimes California courts will also enforce implied contracts between the employee and the employer.
Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
If you need assistance with a wrongful termination claim, one of our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can assist you. Contact Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. today.