Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
To live in the Los Angeles area, you have to work hard. That is exactly what so many employees do each day, and yet some are wrongfully terminated from their positions. If this describes what recently happened to you or a loved one, a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer at Matthews Law Firm would like to help. Although being fired may seem unfair, there are acceptable and unacceptable grounds for firing an employee and releasing them from their contract.
Listed below are some unacceptable and wrongful reasons for an employer to terminate his or her employee:
- Refusing to commit a crime
- Employer fails to follow proper procedures for dismissal
Discrimination can involve a bias or a decision for termination made solely because of an employee's race, sexual orientation, religion and the like. Retaliation is unacceptable as well, but can be difficult to prove. This is often the case in whistleblower claims, when an employer is called out by an employee for illegal or dishonest actions. An employer cannot fire an employee simply to "get back at them" for any damage they may have caused their reputation. It is illegal for an employer to ask an employee to commit a crime, which would then mean that an employee cannot be fired simply for refusing to commit an illegal act for their employer. There are also proper firing procedures that must be followed, and if they are not, the firing may not have been legitimate. Of course, any of the previously listed actions must be proven in court, which is what our firm can fight to do for you.
"At-Will" Employment & Exceptions
In the United States, employment is considered to be "at will." Simply put, this means that both employer and employee are using their free choice to employ or work.
The main principle that "at will" employment is based off of is as follows,
Any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.
There is one major exception to this type of employment principle: a contract. An employee that signs a contract will be bound to that contract, just as an employer will be bound to fulfill their end of the contract. This contract must be legally binding and it must not violate an employee's rights under labor law. In the State of California, there are "implied-in-law" or covenant of good faith and fair dealing exceptions. There are also some federal exceptions for particular industries or circumstances.
Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law in 1938. It established maximum hours worked per week, overtime pay requirements and more. This is a federal statute, which means it applies to all United States employees regardless of what state they reside in. Employees that are wrongfully dismissed may be entitled to lost earnings and damaged reputation compensation. An employee also has the right to work, which means that an employer may be guilty of an illegal act if they forced their employee to take time off in order to avoid payment. The Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at our firm can evaluate your case in order to prove that you were dismissed from your job wrongfully. We can evaluate your employment history such as the number of years you were employed at the company and past performance and evaluations. To learn more about Matthews Law Firm and the employment assistance we may be able to provide for you, don't hesitate to contact our employment lawyers today!