Wrongful Termination Attorney in San Jose, California
Employees have various rights designed to protect themselves at work. One of those rights protects employees from wrongful termination. However, very few employees in California understand what wrongful termination is and when they can sue their employer for firing them.
Even though California is an at-will employment state, there are many circumstances in which termination of employment may be considered “wrongful” under state law. If you have recently lost your job or had to quit because the employer deliberately made your working conditions intolerable, the Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty can help.
If you are not sure where to begin, you can schedule a consultation with the wrongful termination attorney in San Jose, California, to get answers to all your questions and determine if you have a legitimate claim against your employer. The Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty represents employees who are facing injustices in the workplace in San Jose and throughout Silicon Valley—as far north as Oakland and as far south as Monterey.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Contrary to popular belief, just because you were fired “unjustly” does not necessarily mean you were wrongfully terminated. California law defines wrongful termination as a situation in which an employee loses their job on illegal grounds. Unfortunately, not all employers in the state respect California’s employment law and oftentimes fire or lay off employees for an illegal reason.
But what constitutes illegal grounds in the context of wrongful termination? Determining whether or not your termination was legal or illegal is one of the most challenging aspects of employment law, especially given the fact that California is an at-will employment state.
At-will employment means that an employee can be fired at any time for any reason – or no reason at all – when the employer sees fit. However, there are several exceptions to California’s at-will employment law, which can potentially become grounds for legal action against the employer.
When Is It Wrongful to Terminate an Employee?
Despite the fact that California follows at-will employment laws, employers do not have unlimited power when it comes to firing or laying off their employees. Under state law, it is wrongful to terminate an employee for any of the following reasons:
Discrimination. It is illegal to terminate employment on the basis of the employee’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic specified in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Retaliation. Employers are prohibited from firing employees as punishment for asserting their rights. For example, if you get injured at work and file a workers’ compensation claim, it would be wrongful for your employer to terminate your employment for exercising your right to obtain benefits.
Protected absence. California law allows employees to take job-protected leave for numerous reasons, including medical leave and disability. If you lose your job while on protected leave, you might have a wrongful termination case against your employer.
Violation of public policy. Employers in California are also prohibited from violating public policy when terminating employment. For example, it is wrongful termination if employees are fired for exercising their legal right (e.g., the right to vote) or for refusing to commit an illegal act.
Whistleblowing. California law also prohibits employers from firing employees for reporting illegal activity or other violations in the workplace to the authorities or cooperating with the authorities during such investigations.
Each case is unique, which is why it may not always be easy to determine whether or not your termination was illegal. For this reason, you might need to speak with a wrongful termination attorney in San Jose, California, who would evaluate and investigate your case.
Can You Sue Your Employer?
Whether or not you can file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer depends on your circumstances. Before suing your employer, you might want to discuss your case with an attorney who assists employees in filing wrongful termination claims. Suing your employer, if doing so is appropriate in your situation, could help you obtain compensation for the following:
Lost wages and benefits as a result of being wrongfully terminated.
Emotional distress and economic damages caused by the loss of the job and/or damaged reputation.
Punitive damages to punish the employer for egregious wrongdoing.
In order to recover punitive damages in a wrongful termination case in California, the wronged employee must prove that their employer engaged in oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious conduct.
How Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty Can Help
The Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty is dedicated to assisting employees in San Jose and throughout Silicon Valley who may have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit or claim. The law firm can assist clients in various ways, including:
Conducting an in-depth investigation to determine whether or not the client has been wrongfully terminated.
Developing a legal strategy tailored to their circumstances and needs.
Gathering all available evidence pertinent to the wrongful termination claim.
Filing the necessary paperwork.
Helping the client obtain the maximum possible compensation through all available resources, including a lawsuit against the employer.
Representing the client’s best interests in and out of court.
The skilled and results-driven attorney at the Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty is tireless in his efforts to ensure that every client he represents gets the justice they deserve and the compensation to which they are entitled.
Wrongful Termination Attorney in San Jose, California
If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, reach out to a San Jose wrongful termination attorney at the Law Offices of Joel P. Waelty. Mr. Waelty understands the financial and emotional toll wrongful termination can take on an individual and their family members. The attorney can advise you on your options to pursue a claim and provide you with solutions tailored to your situation. Contact Mr. Waelty today to request a consultation and get started.