Unexpectedly losing a job can be a devastating experience – both economically and emotionally. In today’s society, a job represents more than a paycheck every other week; it is also how many people obtain health insurance and other important benefits. The stress and frustration of losing a job are made worse when an employer’s decision was based on illegal reasons. At Krolikowski Law, Orange County wrongful termination lawyer Adam J. Krolikowski skillfully represents workers in these claims. With over 20 years of experience in handling all types of wrongful discharge claims, Attorney Krolikowski knows how to uncover the evidence that proves an employer’s liability.Wrongful Termination Claims Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act
California is an at-will employment state, meaning that either an employer or an employee can end an employment relationship at any time, without stating a specific cause. Thus, an employer is free to terminate an employee for any valid reason, or for no reason at all. However, there are several very important exceptions to this general rule.
The most important exception pertains to employers that fire a worker for an illegal reason. For example, under California Government Code 12940, employers cannot fire, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against a person based on their age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or military or veteran status. Employers that base an employment decision on any of these factors can be held legally responsible for their actions with the assistance of a wrongful termination attorney in Orange County.
Government Code 12940 does allow employers to terminate or refuse to hire an employee who because of their physical or mental disability, or medical condition, cannot perform the necessary tasks of the position even with a reasonable accommodation. However, when an employer tries to use this exception to avoid liability, the evidence still sometimes shows that their decision was impermissible discrimination.
If an employer terminates an employee for discriminatory reasons, the employee may pursue a wrongful termination claim against their former employer. At Krolikowski Law, we strongly believe that the only way to put an end to workplace discrimination and other unfair and abusive employment practices is to hold employers accountable for their actions.Remedies in a Wrongful Termination Claim
Even after being wrongfully terminated, many former employees feel reluctant to pursue a claim against their employer because they have no interest in working for an employer that would engage in that type of conduct. This is understandable, but the remedies in a wrongful termination case extend well beyond reinstatement. For example, an Orange County wrongful termination attorney may be able to recover compensation for an employee’s lost wages and benefits, as well as the emotional distress and loss of professional reputation caused by the employer’s conduct.
In addition, some employers may be liable for punitive damages, which are intended to punish a defendant for especially egregious conduct. Punitive damages are available when an employer’s conduct rises to the level of “oppression, fraud, or malice.” This requires a fact-specific inquiry into the events that led to the termination.Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer Today
If you recently lost your job due to what you believe was an illegal reason, contact Krolikowski Law to discuss whether a wrongful termination lawsuit may be appropriate. You may be entitled to compensation that can help you overcome the financial hardship caused by a sudden job loss. The only way to stop employers from engaging in illegal employment practices is to hold them legally responsible for their actions. At Krolikowski Law, we aggressively stand up for the rights of employees who have been wrongfully terminated. While many employers will cite a valid reason for their decisions, we know where to look to help uncover an employer’s true motivations. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer in Orange County, call us at (949) 274-9915 today.