Articles Posted in wrongful termination

Sometimes the terms “wrongful termination” and “retaliation” are tossed around in the context of employment lawsuits, but there is often a fundamental misunderstanding of what these mean in legal terms. wrongful termination Los Angeles

What they do not mean is simply “unfair” actions by an employer. California is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can fire you for any reason at any time – with or without cause. The employer doesn’t need a “good reason.” However, there are exceptions – primarily as outlined in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for an impermissible or unlawful reason. There are a long list of exceptions to the at-will employment rule, and they include termination based on things like gender, race, nationality, religion, pregnancy, age, disability/medical condition and sexual orientation. It can also include termination for filing complaints about workplace health and safety or employee injuries.

Wrongful termination can be a form of retaliation, which occur when adverse action is taken against an employee for reporting a company’s violation state Labor Code and other laws. Continue reading

A California State University professor was wrongly denied a promotion to an associate professorship and lifetime tenure as a result of retaliation for reporting a hostile work environment to women and people of color. That was the finding of California’s First Appellate District, Division Three, which affirmed the trial court’s damage award of more than $965,000 in damages, plus attorney’s fees. employment retaliation

The professor had also claimed discrimination, but the court found no liability on that particular claim.

The appellate court rejected the university’s argument that plaintiff needed to show that she was clearly superior to a comparative professor who was granted tenure, but who had not filed a complaint.

As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, workers are protected from discrimination and retaliation under a series of California Labor Code provisions, overseen by the California Department of Industrial Relations. Continue reading

Filing a California employment lawsuit is a big decision – one that can be rewarding in more ways than one. However, it’s important to understand that not all termination of employment actions are illegal just because they seemed unfair. wrongful termination lawyer

As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, these claims must stem specifically from violations of:

  • Federal anti-discrimination laws
  • State anti-discrimination laws
  • Labor laws (including whistleblower protections)
  • Employment contracts
  • Retaliation (for claims of things like discrimination, harassment or workers’ compensation)
  • WARN Act violations (mass layoff cases)

In other words, unfair doesn’t always mean wrongful, at least legally speaking. Continue reading

When a 34-year-old former California correctional officer secured a $1.7 million settlement from her former employer in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, she thought that might be the end of it. The agency was accused of failing to accommodate her pregnancy, ultimately resulting in her baby’s stillbirth. But she’s back in court facing them again, this time for a clause in the settlement that required her to resign – and barred her from ever working for the agency again. no rehire clauses

Although she does not want to return to that line of work, her concern is the impact this condition might have on her ability to collect disability retirement. A court hearing has been scheduled to address the issue, but this is something our Los Angeles employment attorneys have found affects many, many workers who have been discriminated and retaliated against.

It’s the driving force for a pending bill that would prohibit “no rehire” clauses like this in employment discrimination settlement agreements. Continue reading

As longtime employment attorneys in California, we know that corporations can seem blind with greed, cutting corners on pay, discriminating and exploiting where it suits them. These things can be true, but it’s also true that most companies are comprised of individuals – including managers, supervisors and owners – who want to do the right thing, but find avoiding California employment lawsuits can be a significant challenge.employment attorney Los Angeles

Large companies are savvy enough to have lawyers on retainer to advise them of ever-changing employment expectations. However, small- and mid-sized companies may not have those kind of resources.

To avoid the landmine of potential employment litigation and retain your competitive advantage, our Orange County employment attorneys have some general tips for consideration. Legal advice specific to your circumstances should be sought from an experienced labor law attorney who can weigh the unique fact pattern of your company/case. Continue reading

The California Supreme Court ruled that a national news network employer’s termination of an employee could amount to protected activity under anti-SLAPP laws, even if ultimately those activity are deemed unlawful. At the very least, it’s going to mean careful evaluation of employment lawsuits against news organizations in California. discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Plaintiff, who is black, alleged that as an employee, he suffered racial discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. The network argued the claim violates anti-SLAPP laws intended to shield businesses from frivolous lawsuits intended to chill speech or some other protected activity of public importance.

Analysts famed the case by considering whether a media company’s free speech right to decide who produces content that’s distributed to an audience of millions supersedes the employee’s right to a discrimination-free workplace. Based on the line of questioning, our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys surmise the court had no intention of effectively giving media organizations carte blanche reign to discriminate against their employees simply by citing the First Amendment and anti-SLAPP laws. But while that aspect of the case was remanded back to the lower court, that’s still no guarantee the worker will, especially given allegations of plagiarism, which for that industry, is often considered a fire-able offense.

Attorneys for the major network argued that editorial decisions included things like who to hire and which assignments should be given to whom. All of this, they said, is connected to furthering the mission of public speech, and thus the decision to fire the plaintiff producer should protected under anti-SLAPP laws.

Employment discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles and throughout the state had been watching closely how the case unfolded. Continue reading

Temperatures in cities throughout Southern California soar well into triple digits around this time of year. For those who must brave the heat and still make it to work, many companies are seeing workers skirt the dress code rules with attire that may not meet company professional standards. But are workplace dress codes legal in California? Can a company reasonably defend them in a court of law?workplace discrimination

As Los Angeles labor and employment attorneys can explain, companies are free to implement workplace dress codes by setting standards for what is appropriate for the company or industry.

However, what they may NOT do is discriminate against workers on the basis of gender, gender identity (including transgender employees/those in the midst of a transition), religion, race or physical disability. Continue reading

In many employment discrimination lawsuits, proving pretext means showing evidence that the defendant employer’s reported reason for taking adverse employment action is contrived. In other words, the reason the company gave for the worker’s firing or other adverse employment event was made up in order to cover up its discriminatory intent.pretext discrimination lawsuit

If a California employment lawsuit plaintiff can prove “prima facie” (correct on first impression) evidence that there was employment discrimination, the court will shift the burden of proof to the employer to prove that it had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the action it took. Plaintiff may then take this reason and provide evidence that it’s merely a pretext for discrimination. Plaintiff will have the burden of showing it was a cover-up, and not in fact the reason reason for the employment decision.

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision in Haynes v. Waste Connections, Inc. ruling the plaintiff employee had made a valid comparison of a similarly situated employee who was treated differently than he was. This served as evidence of that the defense was using this as a pretext for the reason reason – which was discriminatory. Continue reading

Los Angeles employment lawyers have been carefully watching developments in a California workplace retaliation lawsuit that raises new questions about the scope of protections afforded under federal labor laws. This could potentially endanger these protections – not only here in the Golden State, but across the country – if the National Labor Relations Board sides with the construction company employer in the dispute.workplace retaliation

Many employment law attorneys and scholars agree that a core safety net in all labor statutes – state and federal – is the understanding that litigation is a protected activity. This principle forms the foundation of labor laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for filing a lawsuit for things like unlawful discrimination or wage and hour violations.

Relying on New U.S. Supreme Court Precedent

Continue reading

Employment discrimination can be subtle, but it is described as unequal treatment or attitudes toward one group of employees or against another resulting in unfair, adverse impacts to a protected class of employees or prospective employees. Among the most common questions our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys receive is, “How do I file an employment discrimination lawsuit in California?” One of the first things we need to determine is whether you belong to a protected class, and if so, whether they suffered disparate and negative treatment as at least partially a result of being in that class. Riverside Employment Discrimination Lawyer

The California Fair Employment Practices Act marks its 60th anniversary in 2019. The law prohibits discrimination against employees and/or applicants on the basis of one’s actual or perceived belonging or association with one of the following protected classes:

Gender (this provision also bars sexual harassment);

  • Race and Color
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin or Ancestry
  • Religious Creed
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth or Related Conditions (including lactation)
  • Disability
  • Age (pertains to individuals over the age of 40)

Once our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys examine the facts of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file a claim, we’ll give you a detailed rundown of your legal options. Unlike other types of civil claims, the process of filing an employment discrimination claim doesn’t always go straight to court. Continue reading