Wrongful Termination Based On Discrimination
At-will employees, who comprise the majority of California’s workforce, can be terminated for any reason as long as it is not an illegal reason. A termination would be wrongful if it was based on discrimination or in retaliation for an act, such as whistleblowing. Discrimination is a common cause of wrongful termination claims.
Wrongful termination cases are challenging because it is difficult to show that an employee was fired for a discriminatory reason. With more than 20 years of experience, the wrongful termination attorneys at the Los Angeles Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes have the knowledge necessary to successfully prove discrimination.
You can fight back. If you suspect that you were discriminated against and lost your job because of it, schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys today.
What Are Recognized Forms Of Discrimination?
In California, people pursue claims under either Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any employer from terminating an employee based on the employee’s race, gender, age, religion, disability or national origin. Additional federal laws protect women who are pregnant.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act provides broader protections to employees. It protects against discrimination based on all of the above as well as marital status, mental disability, medical condition or sexual orientation.
In California, the most common forms of discrimination are due to disability, sex, race and age.
What Should You Do?
If you have been fired, there are several steps you can take that can help your case:
- Ask why? — Request that your employer explain why they fired you, preferably in writing.
- Request your personnel file — Ask your employer to provide you with a copy of all notes and other documents pertaining to your employment.
- Take notes — Make note of everyone involved in your termination. If you have records of any praise or other accolades you received from them, make sure you have a copy. If you have an employee handbook or other documentation of your employer’s termination policies, obtain a copy of that as well.
- Hire a lawyer — Whether you pursue a wrongful termination claim under federal law or state law, you should have a lawyer by your side.
Why You Should Retain An Employment Lawyer To Pursue Your Wrongful Termination Claim
An employment lawyer is important to have to ensure that you receive the full amount of damages you are entitled to. Whether you report your discrimination to the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, both organizations act only as fact-finders. If you choose either organization to represent you, you may obtain back pay or potential reinstatement, but they will not pursue punitive damages on your behalf.
At the Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes, we pursue every remedy available to you, including punitive damages and attorney fees.