This is the next post in our series on the handling of wrongful termination cases in Santa Ana and elsewhere in Orange County, California. Our last article explained the process of bringing a wrongful termination case. It is important to understand that you must go through an administrative process with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before filing a case with the Courts. Failing to go through this administrative process can result in your lawsuit being dismissed. In this post I will discuss whether you can bring a wrongful termination case on the basis of discrimination. If you feel your rights have been violated it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
It is illegal for an employer to fire someone on the basis of a characteristic which is protected by law. Examples of protected characteristics include race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability. It is important to understand that your employer does not have to explicitly say that one of these characteristics is the reason for which you are being fired; it would be rare for an employer to say this was the explicit reason. Under the law there are two ways in which an employer can be held liable for discrimination which was not explicit. The first is when the evidence shows that the termination was for a reason other than what the employer claimed. The second is when the employer puts policies in place which are clearly intended to impact a particular group of employees. We will discuss each of these in turn.
There are many instances in which employers discriminate and try to disguise their intentions. Examples include a boss who fires someone for being African-American but claims the termination was due to the employee violating a company policy. If the evidence shows that there was no documentation of the alleged company policy, and that Caucasian employees regularly engaged in the same conduct without reprimand, then it may be possible to convince a jury that the firing was actually due to race. This is just one of countless examples in which an Orange County employee may have a claim against their former employer.
It is also illegal for companies to institute policies which they know will unfairly impact one group of people. Say, for example, an employer puts a completely unnecessary policy in place which will offend the religion of one particular group and then fires people for violating that policy. In such a circumstance it may be possible to show that the policy was not for the benefit of the company and was, instead, designed to discriminate against those of a particular faith. Again, depending on the circumstances, such employees may have a claim in Court.
If you have been fired for what you believe was an unfair reason then call our Santa Ana office to speak with a wrongful termination attorney. Glen Duvel and our lawyers dedicate their practice to assisting those who need legal help. We will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us today. We also service Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.