Will a Lawyer Take Your Wrongful Termination Case If You Were Fired for Cause? | Mann & Elias

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Will a Lawyer Take Your Wrongful Termination Case If You Were Fired for Cause?

You have done your best for your employer, but it may turn out that your best was not good enough. Companies are under tremendous pressure to perform. They have investors and shareholders breathing down their necks. Managers must post good figures for monthly and quarterly reports, which means that you must meet certain targets and performance goals. You may be fired if you do not. And your employer is perfectly within their rights to let you go for not meeting performance expectations.

If you have been fired for cause—that is, failure to do the job for which you were hired—your instinct may be to go quietly and look for a new job. But this is not always the right step. If you have a nagging suspicion that you were not fired because of your job performance. If you have good reason to believe that you actually hit your targets or you know of colleagues who did much worse than you but have been retained, then you may want to look into other reasons for your termination. It may be wise for you to retain an employment attorney in Los Angeles.

Freedom to Fire

Most employees in America work at will. Employees are free to leave anytime they want and employers are free to fire them anytime they want for any reason. Unless you have a contract with your employer that says otherwise, you are presumed to be an at-will employee.

Even if you are an at-will employee, your company cannot fire you for an illegal reason. In the state of California, your employer cannot fire you because of your race, gender, or sexuality. They are also forbidden from firing you for whistle blowing or as an act of retaliation.

If You Believe You Have Been Fired Illegally

Accusing a company of wrongful termination is a significant thing. Although lawyers take up such cases, you cannot go with a mere hunch. You need proof.

It can be hard to figure out if you were fired because of your performance or because of who you are or your participation in a protected activity. In gathering more information about your situation, you should not do anything that would put you on the wrong side of the law or jeopardize the careers of people you know. In most instances, you will be able to get the information you need by asking simple and straightforward questions of people with insight on how the decision was made. You should also forward emails to your private account before it is disabled and save any text messages or voicemails that indicate prejudiced or unprofessional conduct.

The bottom line is that you want to go to an attorney with as much information as you can about the circumstances surrounding your termination.

The Lawyer’s Perspective

Los Angeles illegal termination lawyers take on cases they believe they can win. Before deciding whether to take a case, they will consider the following factors:
1. Your contract

Many employees must sign a contract before they start work. Most of it will state the salary, entitlements, and any bonus schedule offered. For most people the terms of employment stated in such a contract stipulate that they are at-will employees. However, if you signed a contract that limits the grounds for your termination.
2. Were you treated differently?

If you were told that your termination was because of performance, then you should expect other underperformers to be let go. If this is not the case, and you were the only one fired for cause, then you may have a case against your employer. However, substantial proof will be needed.

Your employer can lie about their reason for firing you and make up excuses for why you had to go. This false reason, called a pretext, can be exposed by gathering and presenting the facts.
3. Are you a victim of retaliation?

If your dismissal comes on the heels of a complaint that you have made or the uncovering of illegal activity, then you may have a case. You cannot be terminated in retaliation for such an action. Even if you have reported a situation that does not directly involve you—e.g., reporting a manager or supervisor for sexually harassing a colleague—you cannot be fired because of it.

Shoring Up Your Case

Lawyers that handle wrongful termination are eager to get to the facts and circumstances that led to your termination. You should bring a copy of your personnel file with you when you meet with your attorney. Your lawyer will want to know whether there is any documentation of your poor performance. If you received glowing reviews on prior performance assessments and were suddenly terminated, the matter will merit further investigation.

If the lawyer decides to take your case, they will employ a private investigation team to make further inquiries into the company. The investigators will speak to other employees and will search public records for any past lawsuits brought against the company for wrongful termination.

Once you have launched a lawsuit, your attorney will subpoena all relevant documents from the company and will depose managers and others who were involved with your termination.

The main goal is to recover damages for you, like lost pay, benefits, emotional distress, and punitive damages. You might also get money for attorney fees.

You should not put up with illegal and unfair treatment. If you have been unexpectedly fired from your job, then you will need lawyers that handle wrongful termination in Los Angeles. They will advocate for you, and get you justice.

 

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