Your Rights If You Were Wrongfully Terminated in California

Your Rights If You Were Wrongfully Terminated in California

Too often, employees are fired without cause. With little or no warning, they are let go from their jobs, causing financial uncertainty and instability. A person’s life is turned upside down with little explanation. 

While California is an at-will employment state, an employer does not have unlimited power to terminate an employee. Under some circumstances, a person who is fired without cause may be entitled to compensation for wrongful termination.

If you were wrongfully terminated from your job in California, you should speak to an attorney to determine if you have a valid cause of action. At Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP, our trial lawyers have decades of collective legal experience helping employees protect their rights and secure compensation after being wrongfully terminated. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or discharged from their position in violation of state or federal law or public policy. 

Common forms of wrongful termination include:

  • The firing was based on discrimination. Discrimination may be based on a person’s race, sex, gender, religion, or another protected class. 
  • The person was let go in retaliation for filing a complaint. It is unlawful for an employer to fire someone who files a complaint alleging harassment or discrimination. 
  • An employer discharged an employee for engaging in lawful conduct while away from work, such as joining a labor union. 
  • The person was fired in retaliation for whistleblower activities. 
  • The firing was a breach of contract
  • The employer terminated an employee in violation of public policy.
  • The employee was terminated after filing a workers’ compensation claim or after taking medical leave, disability, or parental leave as allowed by state or federal law.

These are only a few of the ways that an employer may be liable for wrongful termination. It is essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you were fired from your job without cause. You may be able to bring a legal claim against your former employer. However, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so it is important to act quickly.

At-Will Employment

California, like most states, is an at-will employment state. The majority of employees are employed at will, meaning that they can be terminated with or without cause. This, however, does not mean that an employer can fire a person in violation of state or federal law. 

Whether you were forced out as a result of a hostile work environment, discrimination, or after filing a wage and hour dispute, you should consult with a lawyer.

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Wrongful Termination?

The amount of time you have to file a wrongful termination lawsuit depends on the reason for your firing. It is imperative to discuss your case with an attorney as early in the process as possible to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. 

In most cases, you have two to three years to file a lawsuit. However, you may have as little as 180 days if you are filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor based on whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes Oxley Act.

How to Prove Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination can be challenging to prove without the help of an attorney. It is important to obtain documentation about your employment, including proof of income and any communications related to your firing. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your case will be. 

Will Your Case Go to Court?

In most cases, a favorable disposition can be reached prior to going to court. However, there are some instances where it is necessary to take a wrongful termination case to trial in order to get the results you deserve. It is important to work with an attorney who has extensive experience litigating cases to ensure they are well-prepared in the event your case must go to trial.

Employment Lawyers You Can Trust

At Levin & Nalbandyan, our trial lawyers are well-versed in handling even the most complex employment law matters. We know state and federal law and will not give up until you receive the best possible outcome in your case. 

Our law firm has secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, including an over $3 million recovery for an hourly worker who was fired after returning to work from surgery. We work tirelessly to protect the rights of workers in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. When you have been wrongfully discharged from your job, you need a lawyer you can trust. You need the trial attorneys at Levin & Nalbandyan.

Levin & Nalbandyan Trial Lawyers

Were you fired without cause from your job? Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. There are never any fees unless we win. Get the experienced legal counsel you need today.




If your claim has been denied or your attorney has decided to give up, reach out to our firm for a second opinion.