This is the next post in our series on the handling of wrongful termination cases in Santa Ana and the rest of Orange County, California. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing and stressed the need to contact an attorney if you feel your rights were violated. It is important to contact counsel sooner, rather than later, as you only have a limited amount of time in which to take action against your employer. Failing to act within the allowed time can result in your losing your right to compensation. In this post we will explain the legal meaning of “wrongful termination.” If you have questions about your specific situation then contact an employment law lawyer immediately.
“Wrongful termination” is an umbrella term which covers many different types of employee firings. Both federal and California law protects workers from being fired for reasons based on discrimination, employer retaliation, a worker’s use of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and more. In other words an employer cannot fire an employee for a reason that is protected under the law. There is no specific claim, however, simply for wrongful termination. If an employee is fired for an illegal reason then the Complaint they file with the Court will list a claim for wrongful termination but the claim will be based entirely on the type of legal violation (discrimination, retaliation, etc.).
There is a difference between firings which are “wrongful” or illegal and those which are simply unfair or unfortunate. There are times when an employee will be fired on the basis of their job performance and the worker may dispute the claim that they did not do a good job. The worker may feel that the mischaracterization of their performance is wrong but, at the end of the day, no law is violated by such a firing. Disagreeing with the reason for which you were fired does not make the act wrongful; one has no inherent right to their job.
If you disagree with your firing it is important that you speak with counsel, even if you are not sure whether the law was violated. It is common for someone to be fired for a particular reason which they do not believe violated the law. Such a worker, however, is later surprised to learn that their employer did in fact violate their rights or that the company may have broke the law in some other way. Counsel will use your initial consultation to gain a full understanding of the situation and to help you understand whether, in fact, your rights were violated.
Contact our office today to speak with a Santa Ana wrongful termination attorney. Glen Duvel has extensive experience in such matters and will help you understand whether your rights were violated. 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.