How to Cope With Wrongful Termination

Being terminated from your job can be a devastating experience, and it is normal to feel wronged if you were let go for no discernible fault of yours. While you might think that you have no other option than to accept the situation and move on, you may have certain rights as an employee protected by the employment laws in California. To find out for sure, it is essential that you look up wrongful termination lawyers in Los Angeles and contact a reputable, experienced one to discuss your situation.

Understanding reasons for wrongful termination

As per the employment law in California, employment in the state is “at-will” basis. That means your employer can legally fire you from your job for any reason, and you too can leave your employment without giving your employer any particular reason. Even so, under certain circumstances, you might have grounds to take legal action against your employer for wrongful termination.

One of these is just-cause employment. In it, the employer will offer a work guarantee that the employee will not be fired from their job unless there is a good reason, such as for violating company policy. It may be oral, part of the employment contract, or included in the employee handbook.

Other circumstances in which an employee’s termination could be deemed as wrongful termination are:

Discrimination: Your employer has terminated you from your job due to your age, race, gender, religion, disability, pregnancy, and so on. Since these are protected classes under the California employment law, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for these reasons.

Retaliation: Your employer has fired you because you reported them for engaging in illegal work activities. As per the law, you are protected from retaliation by your employer for reporting workplace violations. They cannot use it as a reason to fire you.

Breach of good faith: Your employer has terminated your employment for a fabricated or fraudulent reason.

Public policy violation: Your employer has fired you from your position because of your political views, political participation, or support of a political party that your employer opposes.

Taking medical leave: Your employer has fired you from your position because you took an extended medical leave to get treatment yourself or take care of an ailing family member. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees who need to take such a leave. As per the FMLA, your employer is legally obliged to allow it on an unpaid basis and let you return to work later.

Your employer can also not force you to leave your job by purposely making work conditions difficult for you. For instance, they cannot harass you, demote you, or cut your salary. However, your employer can fire you if they need to downsize the company, close down your department, or move to a new location where they cannot transfer you.

Coping with wrongful termination

The first thing to do after your job termination is to remain calm and consider your options. You can do the following:

Contact the HR department: It is advisable to contact the company human resources department and find out about the administrative remedies available to you.

Contact the EEOC: You can file a claim against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if the HR department fails to resolve the issue of your termination. To file a claim, you will need work documents, salary slips, witness statements, and other essential evidence to prove that your employer acted illegally. The EEOC will investigate the matter and decide if your job termination is wrongful.

Contact a lawyer: If the EEOC cannot resolve the situation, you will need to look up wrongful termination lawyers in Los Angeles. Many lawyers offer an initial free consultation in which they will assess your case and let you know if it has legal merit. Depending on their advice regarding your specific case, you can consider filing a civil lawsuit against your employer.

If you win the case, you could be reinstated in your job if you choose to return or get a job transfer, promotion, or a salary increase. You may also win appropriate compensation, including for any missed bonuses and your attorney’s fees.

How Do I Find a Local Lawyer?

You have finally arrived at this decision that you are going to need a lawyer to get a solution for your problem. And now your next process begins where the search for attorney is going to take place which is undoubtedly is one of the most difficult tasks. You will find tons of lawyers out there offering services, but what is important to you is search for attorney who has a specific experience that you are looking for in your case.

Therefore, before you begin your search for a local lawyer, you must know that there are different types of lawyers ranging from criminal to sexual harassment ones. Now it is up to your what is your case and which lawyer you are searching for. You must only focus on the search for that attorney that has ample experience to which your case is related. Thus, here are a few tips that you must follow while finding a local lawyer for your case.

Ask in your circle

One of the best ways to search for attorney is to ask around your network of friends, family, and co-workers and for sure you will get a few contacts from them. When you get such references, you can consider those as reliable ones and go ahead with the choice. If you already know a lawyer but who doesn’t practice in the field in which you are looking for, you can even ask him and he can surely refer you to a few of his contacts among the lawyer circle. This should be the first step you must take while looking for a local lawyer.

Ask in Local Bar Association

This is another great way to find a lawyer by asking in the Local Bar Association. Many counties have their Bar Associations where you can get lawyer referrals directly and can get in touch with the desired ones. If not, then you can also look into the database of the American Bar Association and get assistance from them regarding the type of case you have and what lawyer you must seek for legal advice.

Search on the internet

There are many websites such as legalmatch.com, lawyers.com, attorneyfind.com, etc where you can find a list of lawyers according to your preference, and then you can take a look at their work through their websites and reviews posted by the clients.

Do a background check

Once you shortlist a few local lawyers, you must ensure doing a background check before arriving at a final decision. You can get in touch with the lawyer disciplinary agency of your state and get a confirmation regarding their identity and whether the lawyer stands as a loyal member of the Bar Association. Apart from that, you can also visit their websites and check for the reviews posted by the clients and see what they are talking about the functioning of that lawyer. Along with this, do not forget to check the peer reviews for that lawyer. With peer reviews, you will get to know the professional and ethical ability of the lawyer and where does he stand professionally.

Ask a set of questions before hiring a local lawyer

With a few options for the attorney in your hand, before you arrive at any decision, it is time to ask a few questions to lawyers. So here’s the common questions that you must ask an attorney before you hire them:

• How much experience you have in this specific field of law?

• Do you offer a free consultation session and what are your charges per session?

• How many cases have you handled like mine before and what was the verdict for those cases?

• Are you going to personally attend me from hereon or your associate will be in touch with me?

• What is your fee and how should I be paying it?

In the end, it is going to be your decision as to which lawyer you want to go with. Also, remember that it is in the scope of your rights to ask the lawyer to provide you with references of the present and past client so that you can crosscheck the information. You must be able to feel confident and comfortable with the lawyer that you are choosing. You are going to confide in that lawyer for everything related to your case, therefore that person needs to be trustworthy. Thus, follow the abovementioned tips and trust your gut while making the final decision.

TSOF

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