What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination in California?

 In Employment Law

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Former Employer Before Time Runs Out

If your employment has been terminated unjustly, you may file for a wrongful termination lawsuit. However, you must bring it to court within a specified time of the incident. You have this time limit because of the State of California’s statute of limitations. 

In California, you must file your employment dispute within two (2) years of learning that your employment has been terminated or not renewed. Your employer cannot avoid legal liability by waiting until the last minute to send an email or notice that they will complete your contract. Once the time limit has passed, filing the lawsuit is no longer possible.

How Do I Know If I Was Wrongfully Terminated?

1. Violation of Public Policy

A termination that violates public policy, such as discrimination, may be considered wrongful if the employer cannot prove they have a compelling reason for the ending. In many cases, employers try to justify a wrongful termination by proving that their actions are in the business’s best interest. If a court determines that an employer has failed to prove that it’s in their best interest to terminate an employee, the employer will be held liable.

2. Violation of State Law

Employers who use deceptive or fraudulent methods to terminate a worker’s contract may also have committed wrongful termination. However, the employer may be able to mitigate their liability by showing that any deception or fraud was unintentional, without intent to deceive. If a court finds the employer’s actions were deliberate and meant to deceive, they can avoid liability by proving they exercised due diligence in hiring and terminating you.

3. Discrimination

To be successful in a wrongful termination lawsuit, the employee must prove that the employer terminated their contract because of discrimination, such as sex, race, age, and disability. The employee must also show they were treated differently than other workers with similar skills and employment history. The worker is not required to prove that the employer knew about their protected status or intention to discriminate against them. An employer might be liable for wrongful termination if they have discriminated against an employee based on race or sex, even if it was unintentional. It is because California law protects employees from unlawful discrimination under any circumstances.

4. Constructive Terminations

If an employer creates an intolerable situation in the workplace, which has the effect of terminating an employee’s contract, this is known as constructive termination. Constructive termination is sometimes used to remove long-term employees and must be proven by the employee with evidence. For example, suppose the employer has terminated all other employees or has cut your wages without notice. In that case, you may have experienced a constructive termination and can file a wrongful termination lawsuit. To prove you were constructively terminated, you must provide evidence demonstrating that your contract was released due to behavior by your employer or an action they took on behalf of the company. Evidence may include emails or notes documenting conversations between yourself and other employees. Suppose you indicate that you are no longer needed for the company’s day-to-day operations and that a third party has terminated your services. In that case, you may have experienced constructive termination.

There are many ways to prove that an employee has been wrongfully terminated. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or constructively terminated, contact the legal team at Levin & Nalbandyan. You may be able to receive compensation for all damages and losses suffered during your wrongful termination. If you need assistance protecting your employment rights, contact us today. We are here to help.

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