If a former employee believes you or your California business has illegally fired him or her, he or she may file a wrongful termination claim in court. This may all seem straightforward, but in the legal sense, it is not. Sure, a former employee might find it frustrating to find him- or herself out of a job for no valid reason, however, not all firings are technically considered “wrongful termination” under the law. To learn more, simply contact a seasoned Los Angeles wrongful termination defense attorney today.
What makes a valid wrongful termination claim in California?
For an employee to have a valid wrongful termination claim, they must prove that they were fired either as a result of discrimination based on a protected characteristic or that they were retaliated against for reporting discrimination or unethical/unlawful activity in the workplace.
It is important to understand that California is an employment-at-will state, which means that an employer can lawfully fire an employee for any reason other than discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.
Can my former employee sue me if they quit?
Contrary to popular belief, even if an employee quits, he or she may still have the right to file a wrongful termination suit. If the employee feels they had no choice but to quit because he or she believed that they could not operate in the environment any longer due to hostility or it being unsafe, they may still have a right to sue. This applies even if the employer coerces the employee into submitting a resignation letter.
Should I settle a wrongful termination claim quickly to save my reputation?
Unless your former employee has based their claim on facts and solid evidence, you may not want to settle so quickly. Depending on the size of your business, publicity may not even factor into your decisions. For this reason, if you’re facing an accusation of wrongful termination, before you do anything else, your best option is to retain a seasoned attorney who can help inform you of your options.
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss potential strategies, please reach out to a skilled Los Angeles County, California employment attorney as soon as possible.
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If you are involved in an employment-, commercial- or church-related dispute, contact Lee Law Offices today.