San Jose Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Under California’s at-will employment laws, an employer can usually terminate an employee for any reason and at any time. There is one important exception to this rule, however, and it impacts both the employment relationship and a worker’s civil rights. Companies are prohibited from firing an employee for illegal reasons, which generally revolve around that person possessing certain characteristics or engaging in activities that are protected by law. An employee may have a claim for wrongful termination if an employer violates the law.
As such, the stakes are high for both employers and employees when a firing triggers civil rights issues. Our lawyers at Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. can advise you on your options if you were terminated under questionable circumstances, and we are also prepared to protect your company’s interests if you have concerns about compliance with the law. Please contact our office to set up a case assessment with a San Jose wrongful termination lawyer, and check out an overview about the relevant laws.
Legal Basis for Wrongful Termination Cases
Federal civil rights laws and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from firing an employee or taking other adverse action for unlawful reasons. However, state statutes are more expansive and covers more companies than the federal equivalent. It is illegal for a company to terminate a worker on the basis of:
- Race, ethnicity, or national origin;
- Age or disability;
- Religion or creed;
- Sex, gender identity, and orientation;
- Service in the military;
- Marital status; and,
- Many other characteristics provided by law.
In addition, wrongful termination laws also prohibit employers from firing workers who engage in protected activities. For instance, it is illegal to terminate an employee who participates in an investigation against the employer, files a civil rights claim, seeks workers’ comp benefits, or reports the company for legal violations.
How Our Team Can Help with Wrongful Termination Matters
Our attorneys at Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. are prepared to assist with all tasks as necessary to protect your interests, depending on your position in a wrongful termination case:
Employees: If you believe you were terminated for unlawful reasons, we can assist with filing the forms and supporting paperwork with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). We may be able to resolve your claim through the administrative process, including settlement negotiations and mediation. Our lawyers will also represent you if it becomes necessary to file litigation in court.
Employers: The best strategy for fighting allegations of wrongful termination are to ensure they never materialize, such as through training, policies, internal complaint procedures, and a solid, well-crafted employee handbook. Our team is also ready to defend wrongful termination charges before the DFEH and in court.
Trust Our San Jose Wrongful Termination Lawyer to Protect Your Interests
For more information about California and federal employment laws governing wrongful termination, please contact Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. to schedule a consultation at our offices in San Jose, CA. After we learn more about your situation, we can explain the relevant legal concepts and get started on a legal strategy.