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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Anyone who has ever been dismissed from a job thinks it is unfair. However, under California and federal laws, unfair termination is not necessarily wrongful. Wrongful termination is a legal term that refers to a firing that happened illegally.
Wrongful termination takes many forms. It happens when employees are fired because of discrimination based on race, age, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. It also occurs due to retaliation for reporting an employer's illegal act (this is often called whistleblowing), or in violation of an employment contract.
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, contact Anthony J. Poidmore, Attorney at Law in Roseville, California, to discuss the matter with an experienced employment law attorney.
If the Employee Quits
The unemployment insurance system is designed to protect people who have become involuntarily unemployed. It is not intended to help those who can work but don't like their jobs. When an employee quits a job, therefore, it may be difficult to obtain unemployment benefits.
The specific laws vary by state, but general principles apply. If the employee had good cause for leaving the job, then he or she may be eligible for benefits. "Good cause" is an objective standard: the employee must have had substantial, real and significant motives for leaving. The cause must be compelling enough to show that no reasonable person would have stayed in the same circumstances.
Compelling reasons to leave a job may include:
- Substantial reduction in work hours or pay
- Unsafe or hazardous working conditions
- Legitimate family emergency
If the Employee Is Laid Off
Leaving a job because of being laid off is not leaving voluntarily. A laid-off employee, therefore, will typically be eligible for unemployment benefits.
If the Employee Is Fired
An employee who has been terminated or wrongfully discharged is eligible for unemployment benefits in some situations. If the employee was terminated for serious misconduct, he or she is unlikely to qualify for benefits. If the employee was terminated because the company was experiencing financial difficulty and had to reduce the size of its workforce, however, then the employee is likely to be entitled to unemployment compensation.
Some infractions that are sufficient to justify termination are not sufficient to support denial of unemployment benefits. If the misconduct was unintentional or rarely occurred, therefore, the worker may qualify for benefits.
Making the Unemployment Compensation Claim
The former employee who wishes to collect unemployment insurance must apply through the state agency that administers the benefits. If the application is denied, the employee can appeal the decision. Both the employee and the employer will have a chance to present evidence.
The exact procedures vary by state, and this is one reason it is so important to work with an attorney who knows the laws of the jurisdiction.
Contact an Attorney
Each state has its own requirements for qualifying for unemployment benefits. In addition to having left the job involuntarily or with good cause, the worker usually must have been employed for a minimum length of time. For answers to your questions about unemployment insurance, contact an attorney at Anthony J. Poidmore, Attorney at Law in Roseville, California.
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