Wrongful Termination San Diego

Wrongful Termination Lawyer in San Diego

Have you recently lost your job in San Diego, CA? Do you believe that you were fired unfairly? If so, you may have a San Diego wrongful termination case. Our law firm represents clients who have been wrongfully terminated in San Diego, CA, and the San Diego County area. Contact us to learn about your rights and discuss with our attorneys whether you might have a case for wrongful termination. San Diego is home to many businesses across several sectors and industries. Losing your job can cause anxiety, depression, and loss of life satisfaction, especially if you believe that you were wrongfully terminated from your position.

California and Federal Employment Laws Protect Your Job

If you are an employee in the state of California, you are entitled to certain rights and protections regarding your job. California employment law, in fact, guarantees employees’ rights above and beyond what federal employment law requires. Your employer is required to pay a minimum wage of $12 or $13 an hour, depending on how many employees your company has. An employer must also allow rest and meal breaks and overtime pay if you are a non-salaried employee. The employer also is required to comply with illness and family leave laws, ensure a safe work environment, and to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

It is against the law for an employer to punish or fire you in retaliation after you report an unsafe or unhealthy work condition. You are legally entitled to report your employer and file a claim with the state of California if your employer is violating your rights, and it is illegal for your employer to fire you or discriminate against you for doing so. Of course, simply being against the law does not guarantee that an employer will not attempt to retaliate against you for reporting, but if they do, you very likely have a wrongful termination case and should contact qualified San Diego wrongful termination attorneys as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that you are protected by these laws whether or not you are a legal citizen, and even if your employer classifies you as an independent contractor, you may be considered an employee under the law and be entitled to all the rights of an employee.

According to California law, there are rights reserved for an employee which protect you if you:

  • File a complaint or claim with a state agency
  • Report an injury or health and safety hazard
  • Demand wages that are owed to you
  • Join with other employees to request changes

Employers are not legally allowed to retaliate against you by firing you, giving you less desirable shifts or tasks, preventing you from getting another job, or threatening you with deportation.

Other common types of San Diego wrongful termination claims include:

  • Firing in violation of labor laws
  • Retaliation for asserting legally protected rights at work or for reporting discrimination
  • Firing as a form of sexual harassment
  • Firing in violation of Anti-Discrimination Law based on an employee’s sex, disability, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status

Exceptions to the Employment at Will Doctrine in California

Like most states, in California employment is “at-will”, which means that your employer can fire you without cause, for any reason or no particular reason at all, except in such a way that it would qualify as a wrongful termination of your employment. There are three basic categories of exemption to employment at-will, and the state of California allows all three:

  1. Public Policy: This exception prohibits an employer from terminating an employee’s employment if it represents a substantial violation of public policy. This means that your employer is not allowed to fire you because you refused to break a law, performed a legal obligation, exercised a legal right, or reported a violation of the law to police, the government, or a supervisor.

    Examples of wrongful termination cases would be if you were to be fired for reporting antitrust violations or bribery by your employers, or if your employer has violated laws against disability or sex discrimination, or you were fired for reporting sexual harassment. An employee also may have a wrongful termination claim for losing their employment after being a whistleblower, engaging in political activities, taking time off for jury duty, or filing for workers’ compensation benefits.

  2. Implied Contract: This exception typically applies when an employer’s personnel policies or employee handbook states that employees will not be fired except for good cause, or if there is a process described for terminating employment that was not followed by your employer.
  3. Covenant of Good Faith & Fair Dealing: This exception may support wrongful termination claims when an employee was fired in violation of the company’s own policies, was fired to keep the employee from receiving rightfully owed benefits such as a pension, or if the company lied about why the employee was fired.

Wrongful Termination After Sexual Harassment

You deserve to be treated with the highest respect and not be harassed sexually at work. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted touching, sexual jokes, and quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that,” and with this harassment, a manager or supervisor threatens to fire an employee if they do not go on a date or have sex with them. 

Although sexual harassment is often portrayed as a man harassing a woman, harassment can be committed by men and women, and the victim does not necessarily have to be the opposite sex of the harasser. You also don’t have to be the victim to be wrongfully terminated for sexual harassment. If you witnessed sexual harassment and reported it on behalf of a colleague but were consequently fired from your job, then you should call us about filing a suit.

Damages in Wrongful Termination Cases

An employee can recover different damages from a San Diego wrongful termination claim. In general, an employee could recover any one or more of the following wrongful termination damages:

  • Lost wages, back pay, and benefits
  • Compensation for the emotional distress and mental anguish that arose from the loss of your San Diego job
  • Litigation or attorney’s fees
  • Punitive damages, if applicable, which are intended to punish your employer for their wrongdoing

What is the average payout for wrongful termination in California?

Each wrongful termination case is very different, which is why the average payout is so varied. If you are filing for wrongful termination in San Diego, then you could recover anywhere between $5,000 and $80,000 depending on the circumstances of your termination. We advise you to schedule a consultation with us so we can tell you our success stories with clients in situations similar to yours.

Do You Have a Wrongful Termination Case?

If you have been the victim of a San Diego wrongful termination, you were probably given a legitimate-sounding reason to explain why you were fired. So how do you know if you have a valid wrongful termination claim in San Diego?

Discrimination: You may have been subject to wrongful termination of your employment if you have evidence that you were fired for discriminatory reasons — for example, if you were fired after a supervisor found out your age, religion, or ethnicity, or if all of the recently laid-off employees were women. Discrimination may also apply if employees of a certain characteristic are treated differently than others — if white employees are routinely permitted to be late, while black employees are punished for the same infraction, for example.

Harassment: Employment law prevents employees from being harassed on the basis of their gender, race, age, national origin, or similar characteristics. Harassment may apply if a superior has made offensive comments about a particular gender, sexuality, religion, race, or disability. Sexual harassment also falls under this provision.

Retaliation: If you were fired after reporting safety violations or cooperating with investigations into wrongdoing at your company, you may have been victim to wrongful termination.

Breach of Contract: If your company or supervisor made you promises of guaranteed employment, or if there was a written policy regarding how or why an employee may be terminated that was violated in your case, you may have been wrongfully terminated.

How long do you have to sue for wrongful termination in California?

The deadline to file a wrongful termination claim depends on the law relating to the violation. If you file a charge with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, then you have 300 days to file. However, if you were wrongfully terminated based on your race, sexual orientation, gender, or another type of discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then you have 180 days from the day you were terminated to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

For any questions you have about deadlines for San Diego wrongful termination claims, speak to an experienced wrongful termination attorney.

What to Do if You’ve Been the Victim of Wrongful Termination in San Diego

If you believe your employment may have been terminated for illegal reasons in San Diego or San Diego County, you should contact a San Diego wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible. It is important to take copious documentation of your experience and gather all the evidence you are able to before or while you are consulting with employment lawyers about your case. Wrongful termination lawyers are familiar with state and federal employment law, and will be able to advise you of your rights and whether any legal protections you should have been given were violated.

An employment lawyer can explain your legal situation and determine whether you have a legitimate and pursuable case against your former company. Our attorneys are well-versed in employment law and will pursue your case to the fullest extent of the law if we think you have been legally wronged.

The law firm of Steven Rubin fights for employees whose rights have been violated in the San Diego area. If you believe your employment has been unlawfully terminated, contact us at Rubin Law Corporation at 213-224-9672 to speak to a qualified and experienced wrongful termination attorney who can explain the rights reserved for you as an employee in California.

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