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If you have been fired from your job, how do you know whether the termination was legal or illegal? While the majority of employment contracts allow for a company to fire an employee ‘at will,’ there are a number of situations in which you could be the victim of wrongful termination. In order to understand the legality of your termination, it is important to educate yourself on local, state, and federal laws regarding employment and termination.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL TERMINATION?
By definition, wrongful termination is the “right of an employee to sue his/her employer for damages” related to improper discharge. Because California is an ‘at will’ employment jurisdiction, it can be difficult to prove wrongful determination (but not impossible). Most successful wrongful termination lawsuits involve some sort of civil rights violation, sexual harassment, breach of contract, or retaliation.
WRITTEN AND IMPLIED PROMISES
If your employer has provided you with a written contract that explicitly promises job security, you have a very strong argument that you are not an at-will employee. This contract can legally prohibit your employer from firing you and may result in financial damages. An implied promise is a verbal agreement from your employer implying job security. Implied promises are much harder to prove in the court of law, because of their abstract nature.
EXAMPLES OF BREACHES OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING
If your employer has violated a written or implied promise, he or she likely breached their duty of good faith and fair dealings. Examples of breaches include:
- Situations in which an employer fires an employee to prevent them from earning a commission on a sale.
- Knowingly misleading employees about their chances for promotions and raises.
- Repeatedly giving an employee undesirable assignments and duties with the intention of coercing the employee into quitting without severance.
To determine whether or not you have legal grounds for a wrongful termination suit, it is important to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney familiar with wrongful termination suits and employment law can help build a case which connects your claims with tangible actions from your employer.
LAW OFFICES OF MANN & ELIAS
Since 1998, Scott Mann and Imad Elias have successfully settled hundreds of claims for more than $18 million in settlements and verdicts. We believe in fair treatment, intense preparation, and high quality legal representation. We take all cases on contingency and never charge a dime until there has been a recovery in the case. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.