Wrongful Termination

Wrongful Termination Attorney in San Diego

Have You Been Fired from Your Job for an Unjust Reason?

“Wrongful termination” is a term that generally refers to a person being fired when they shouldn’t have been. Other similar terms include wrongful dismissal or wrongful discharge. These generally refer to the same issue or concept as wrongful termination. However, these all can be somewhat misleading phrases, as many terminations that people think of as “wrongful” are not illegal. Just because an employee thinks they have been wrongfully terminated doesn’t mean an employer has violated any laws.

The law is very complicated and can vary at the federal, state, and local levels. Sometimes, these laws may even seem to conflict with one another. The best thing to do is to contact an experienced and aggressive attorney who can listen to the facts of your case and help you determine whether or not you have a case.

What is Considered Wrongful Termination in California? 

Wrongful termination in California is when an employee is fired or laid off from their job in violation of any public policy, statute, labor contract, or the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

It could be considered wrongful termination if an employer chooses to terminate a worker due to discrimination based on: 

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnic Origin 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Religion 
  • Sexual Orientation 

In California, it is also illegal for an employer to terminate a worker in retaliation against them for filing a complaint or exercising their rights under the Labor Code or workplace safety regulations.

If you believe that you are wrongfully terminated from your job, you may be able to take legal action and seek compensation for damages. Consulting a San Diego wrongful termination attorney can help you understand your rights as an employee and determine if you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. A lawyer can provide valuable advice on how to go about making a claim for compensation, assist with the preparation of legal documents, and represent you in court if necessary.

At-Will Employees in California 

In California and most other states, employment is considered to be “at-will.” This means an employer can fire its employees for almost any reason, or for no reason at all. At-will employment gives employers the freedom to fire employees they feel are no longer performing or due to economic reasons, but this rule does not apply in all circumstances. Employers are not allowed to violate employment laws, and therefore they cannot fire an employee if it is discrimination or if it violates a contract.

If you are a wrongful termination victim, you have rights. You also have the right to claim compensation for your lost wages, benefits, and emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages can be awarded. 

Constructive Termination

Under certain circumstances, a worker may be able to resign their position and thereafter pursue a claim against their former employer even though they weren’t actually fired. The law allows such a course of action upon a showing that one’s working conditions were so intolerable that a reasonable employee under those specific circumstances would resign. Constructive termination lawsuits are not determined solely based upon how offensive or intolerable the working conditions were, but rather, whether a reasonable person would quit the job given the situation and working environment.

Typical constructive termination cases stem from ongoing workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful wage and hour practices, or other illegal conduct by the employer. Regardless of the situation resulting in the constructive termination, whether caused by ongoing or intolerable sexual harassment, failure to pay wages, or unfair treatment concerning your religion, age, or disability, we can give you a good idea of whether your claim for constructive termination is maintainable. Alternatively, we can assist you in ascertaining what other courses of action might be in the best interests of you and your family.

It is a good idea to consult an attorney before terminating your employment. Courts have held that the employment conditions necessary to support a claim of constructive discharge must be sufficiently egregious to overcome the normal motivation of a competent, diligent, and reasonable employee to remain on the job, earn a livelihood, and serve the employer. The circumstances giving rise to constructive discharge must be severe or involve a continuous pattern before the working conditions will be deemed intolerable. Single, trivial, or isolated acts are typically insufficient to support a constructive discharge claim. Even a poor performance rating or a demotion accompanied by a reduction in pay does not by itself trigger a constructive discharge.

One must consider his or her options carefully before quitting a job in reliance on having a potential constructive discharge claim in court. If you are thinking about terminating your employment but are unsure of your rights, you should speak to our experienced attorney to discuss your situation. It is also a good idea to record or document your workplace issues so they can be discussed in greater detail. Our attorney has achieved excellent results for clients who have been forced to quit their jobs by working conditions that no person should have to tolerate.

If you have specific questions, we suggest you contact the experienced and aggressive San Diego wrongful termination lawyer at The Gould Firm. We are happy to discuss your case free of charge and answer any questions you may have. We are here to help!

Call (619) 941-0667 or send us a message to get started on your case.