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.
Q: What is employment at will?
A: Employment at will means that you can quit or your employer can fire you at any time with or without notice. Your employer can have any reason for the termination or no reason at all, as long as your employer does not have an illegal reason for firing you, such as racial discrimination.
Q: If I lose my job, will my health insurance continue?
A: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives certain workers the right to continue their group health benefits for themselves and their families for a limited time after a job ends. Qualified individuals will generally pay the entire premium for health insurance coverage.
Q: How do I know if I'm entitled to receive unemployment compensation?
A: If an employee is laid off and has a sufficient employment history, the employee will be entitled to unemployment compensation. If an employee is fired for a reason other than misconduct, the employee is also likely to be entitled to unemployment compensation. Generally, if an employee leaves employment voluntarily, the employee will not qualify for unemployment compensation. If an employee leaves as a result of an issue like sexual harassment or unsafe working conditions, however, unemployment compensation may be granted.
Q: I signed a covenant not to compete before I started work. Is that enforceable?
A: A covenant not to compete, or a non-compete agreement, that is made prior to the start of the employment relationship will be enforceable if it is supported by valid consideration and is reasonable in scope and duration. Valid consideration exists if the employee received something of value in exchange for the promise not to compete. If the agreement was entered into prior to the start of the employment relationship, the employment itself is valid consideration. The scope and duration of the non-compete agreement are reasonable if the limits on the employee's right to work are no greater than necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests.
Q: I have no written employment contract, but my employer told me as long as I perform well I have a job. Can I be fired even if I am performing well?
A: The answer to this question varies by state. This type of promise may be enforceable if there is clear evidence that an oral contract was made. If there is sufficient evidence that the employer made statements about job security to the employee, including the reasons for which the employee could not be fired, then the employee has a better chance of enforcing his or her rights.
Q: Is my employer required to give me a severance package if I am terminated?
A: No federal law requires employers to offer severance packages. Your employment contract or employee handbook, however, may provide for one. Speak with an attorney for advice on how to negotiate and secure a severance package.
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