When you are faced with wrongful termination, an attorney who has regularly advised and represented clients in employment law matters can help you achieve a cost-effective and timely resolution. To learn more about our legal services, contact our firm to schedule a consultation and case evaluation.
Learn More About Complex Laws from a Sacramento Lawyer
The law on wrongful termination is complex. If you have been fired from your job or retaliated against in another way, potential outcomes often depend on the facts of your case. The best way to learn about these potential outcomes and about your options is to talk with an attorney. Contact the law firm of trial attorney Anthony J. Poidmore in Roseville, California, by completing an online contact form or calling 916-367-0802.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Termination
Q: What are illegal reasons for terminating an employee?
A: Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees in violation of federal and state employment laws. Under federal law, employers must not discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or age. They also must not discriminate against people with disabilities when those disabilities can be reasonably accommodated. Some states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status or whether employees receive public aid. An employee who is terminated in violation of an employment contract also may have a legal claim against the employer.
Q: What can I be fired for?
A: If you are an at-will employee, you can be fired for any reason as long as it is not illegal. You can be fired for misconduct such as excessive absences or tardiness or simply because your employer does not like your personality. If you have an employment contract, however, your contract may limit the reasons for which you can be fired.
Wrongful Termination - An Overview
Wrongful termination refers to the involuntary termination of an employee in violation of the law or an employment contract. For example, federal and some state laws enumerate specific characteristics against which employers must not discriminate. Employment contracts often spell out reasons that an employee may and may not be fired. If you believe that your employer terminated you in violation of the law or a contract, speak with an experienced employment law attorney from Anthony J. Poidmore, Attorney at Law in Roseville, California, for advice.
Under federal law, employers must not discriminate against employees based on certain characteristics. It is illegal to make employment decisions based on:
- National origin
In addition, some states ban discrimination based on characteristics such as sexual orientation and familial status.
Wrongful Termination Claims
If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have rights. You may be able to recover monetary damages against your former employer or, if you have not been released yet, negotiate a favorable severance package. If you are facing wrongful termination, an employment law attorney can help you make sense of the situation.
Employers pay unemployment insurance payroll taxes for each employee. If an employee becomes unemployed through no fault of his or her own, the employee is usually eligible for unemployment compensation. The employee must apply for these benefits through a state agency. Sometimes the process is straightforward; other times it is more complex because the employee was fired or voluntarily gave up the job or because the employer has challenged the claim. If you have concerns about unemployment insurance, discuss the matter with an experienced employment law attorney.
Severance Pay and Benefits
A severance agreement is a contract between a departing employee and an employer. The severance payment is a reward for service and part of an exchange of duties between the employee and employer. In the agreement, the employee typically agrees not to sue the employer for wrongful termination or any other employment issue. Because the employee must receive something valuable in return for the release of liability to be valid, the employer agrees to pay the employee additional compensation. This is often called the severance package. Contact an employment law attorney if you have questions about severance agreements.
Some employers ask their employees to sign non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements may prohibit employees from working in certain geographical regions or sectors of an industry once they have left the company. Employers do this for a variety of reasons, including protecting their trade secrets and customer goodwill. Courts do not always uphold non-compete agreements, however. Limits on the right to earn a living are closely scrutinized. For answers to your questions about non-compete agreements, contact an employment law attorney.
Wrongful Termination Resource Links
Department of Labor (DOL)
The Department of Labor protects workers' rights and administers federal employment laws.
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy strives to ensure that people with disabilities have a fair opportunity to work.
This directory of government Web pages is helpful to people with disabilities, their families, service providers, employers and other community members.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA protects disabled employees from job discrimination.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC offers information on federal workplace discrimination laws and related issues.