Contact a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace as long as they work diligently and follow workplace rules. Most employers recognize these reasonable work conditions and do their utmost to implement them. However, there are others that allow senior management to mistreat employees and to bring their bigotry and prejudice into the workplace.
If you have been fired for no good reason, it is possible that your termination was illegal if it was on flimsy or shallow terms. If you believe that you are the victim of a wrongful termination, then you should pursue legal representation. You need not put up with such behavior. Indeed, you have every right to hold the company accountable, which will include seeking damages from them. A Los Angeles workplace lawyer can provide you with the insight and advice you require.
Why You Should Seek Damages
If you sue a former employer for wrongful termination, the case does not always go to trial. However, if it does get that far then you will essentially request that the jury award you money for what you have suffered. The purpose of monetary damages is to compensate you for all that you have lost in the wake of your dismissal.
You may have good reason to think you are entitled to this money. When you joined the company, you believed it was on the basis of your knowledge, skill, expertise, and experience. Even when you were subjected to bigotry and unfair treatment, you did your best to resolve things informally. Unfortunately, it did not work. You were forced to escalate the matter, which led to your termination.
Leaving the company under such a cloud is embarrassing. Although you did nothing wrong and the blame lies entirely with those who discriminated against you, it is still distressing to be forced out of a company because of the prejudices of a colleague.
This sort of thing can cause not only immediately financial strain; it can cause serious mental and emotional harm. You seek damages to compensate for the sudden loss of revenue and the psychological pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. When you launch a wrongful termination lawsuit, you are asking a civil court to compel your former employer to pay damages that are comparable to the suffering you have been through.
What You Can Claim
You can claim money for nearly anything having to do with your wrongful termination. Here are some of the specific damages you should claim:
- Lost pay
The loss of a job means the loss of your earnings. If you were wrongfully terminated, then you can claim damages for the pay you would have received if your employer had not fired you. It is also possible to claim damages for the wages and overtime that you earned before you were sent home.
The amount you receive may be reduced if you are re-hired at a higher rate of pay. If you are re-hired at a lower rate of pay, then you are still eligible for this form of compensation.
- Lost benefits
For some workers, the worst consequence of losing a job is losing the benefits that came with it—especially health insurance. If you or a member of your family is dependent on the insurance plan you enjoyed as an employee, you can sue the company for the equivalent amount of money you will need to pay to keep up with your medical bills. You can also recover the equivalent value of stock options, profit-sharing, 401k plans, and other benefits.
- Emotional distress
You can seek money for emotional distress in your legal complaint. Such distress is real, and it can cause you long-term health problems. If your case goes to trial, you can make a compelling case for emotional distress before the jury.
- Punitive damages
You can also seek punitive damages from your former employer. Such damages are designed to punish companies for especially egregious acts of mistreatment and illegality. They also deter the employer and other companies from acting in similar ways in the future.
This kind of claim is not always available. If it is, you will have to prove that punitive damages are warranted. If, for example, you were subjected to bigoted comments, threats, or harassment before your termination, then you can present evidence of them. You can gather together any emails, voicemail, and text messages that reflect the misbehavior. You can also get statements from people who have witnessed the mistreatment.
- Money for Lawyer Fees
You should also ask for compensation for attorney fees. Many lawyers take wrongful termination cases on a contingent fee basis—that is, no win, no fee. You should speak to your attorney about their fee structure and how much money they would expect from the settlement.
- Other considerations
Before pursuing a lawsuit, you should ensure that it is worth it. You should also exhaust all other options to resolve the issue before getting involved legally. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. The company that you are suing will fight back. Even with the best wrongful termination lawyers on your side, it is a risk. However, they will increase your chances of getting a good settlement; they cannot guarantee it.
One thing you may want to consider. If you were wrongfully terminated from one job but quickly found another—for the same pay—then you may want to avoid litigation. If this is not the case, if you have suffered material loss, then filing a lawsuit may be a prudent move.
Lawyers can help you prepare your case and gather the evidence you require to demonstrate that you were fired illegally. An unjust termination at work lawyer Los Angeles will also help you determine the value of your lawsuit. This is an important part of the process. In the end, the negotiation with your former employer will be over a specific dollar amount that is fair and reasonable.
If you have been wrongfully terminated, then you should hire lawyers that handle wrongful termination, like Mann & Elias. We can help you get justice.