Although employers are entitled to terminate employees for just cause, such as job performance, there are many reasons for firing someone that is not permitted under employment law. If you think that you have been the victim of wrongful termination , talk to an employee rights lawyer in San Jose to determine if your case meets the legal definition and what steps you should take next. Here is a look at some common questions employees have about wrongful termination.
What is wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired because of a reason that is not legally permitted. For instance, although your employer can terminate you because of poor job performance or because he or she wishes to downsize, you cannot be fired for your age, race, political views, gender identity, or pregnancy. Termination is considered to be wrongful if it either violates federal, state or local employment law or if it violates the terms of your employment contract. A labor attorney can tell you if your termination falls into this category.
How do I know why I was terminated?
Because you are employed at-will, you can be terminated without warning, unless you have a contract that states otherwise, and your employer does not have to give you a reason. Generally, in cases of wrongful termination, there was a pattern of discriminatory behavior that culminated in the firing. Your labor attorney will want to know information about your work environment if you’ve had performance warnings in the past, and what exactly happened when you were terminated.
What should I do if I believe I was wrongfully terminated?
If you think you were wrongfully terminated, document everything about the incident when it is fresh in your mind, and talk to an employee rights attorney. Your attorney will evaluate all of your evidence and determine if you should pursue legal action against for your former employer. You may seek damages for the impacts of the termination.