Wrongfully Terminated Law Firm in Ventura County - California Employment Attorney
Ventura County Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Illegally Fired Attorney in Oxnard, California
Some of the most complex and financially sizable employment lawsuits center on allegations of wrongful termination. Plaintiffs in such cases range from restaurant servers and factory workers to high-level executives making six- or even seven-figure salaries, and valid causes of a wrongful termination action cover a broad spectrum.
At the Employment Lawyers Group, we have achieved many significant recoveries for people who were fired illegally. We have also helped people obtain compensation after being forced to quit due to intolerable work conditions and those whose employment contracts were violated.
Not All Unfair Firings Are Illegal. Did Your Employer Violate the Law?
Many issues require consideration if you believe you were fired illegally. California, like nearly all other U.S. states, is an employment-at-will state, which means most workers can be fired at any time without being given a specific reason â€” unless the real reason for dismissal can be proven to be in violation of federal or state laws.
That said, there are laws in place that prohibit workplace discrimination and retaliation against workers for filing lawful claims or reporting illegal activity. It is thus illegal to fire you because of your race, national origin, age, disability and certain other protected characteristics. Generally speaking, you cannot be legally fired or not allowed to return to work due to your pregnancy, a work injury or serious medical condition.
Our Firm Has Succeeded for Many People Fired for Unlawful Reasons
California statutes extend certain protections stronger and more comprehensive than those provided by federal laws, and our successful experience extends to groundbreaking cases involving discrimination based on sexual orientation, age and a range of medical conditions.
You may also have a valid claim if you were fired or not allowed to return to work after taking leave for jury duty, military service or to recover from a crime against you, for example.
Contact us or call 1-877-525-0700 to speak to a Ventura employment lawyer.
Discuss Options With a Respected California Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Determining whether you were fired illegally requires careful examination of the facts of your case. This type of litigation is a clear focus for our firm, and we can help in this traumatic and uncertain time.
From offices in Sherman Oaks, Oxnard and Los Angeles, Karl Gerber and our associates represent people statewide throughout California. We charge no upfront fees and often recovering payment of attorney fees from the employer along with other damages.
Oxnard Unfair Termination Attorney
California is an employment-at-will state, and this means companies are generally within their rights to lay people off singly, by the dozens, hundreds or thousands to cut operating costs or for other reasons they are not required to specify.
Behind the scenes, however, we know that many people are chosen for layoff because of characteristics that are legally protected â€” most commonly age or affliction with a medical condition that company decision makers view as costly for them. When this occurs, it may be judged in court or by a mediator as employment discrimination, and that is illegal.
You May Have Been Unfairly Laid Off, but Was It Illegal?
In the Los Angeles metro area or elsewhere in California, we at the Employment Lawyers Group are here to help if you were selected for layoff in violation of state or federal laws. Our focused employment lawyers can make that determination and advise you accordingly based on decades of combined experience.
Our successes in mediation, arbitration and courtroom litigation have included many recoveries in excess of $100,000 in wrongful termination and employment discrimination cases on behalf of, for example:
Numerous women fired or denied the right to return to work due to their pregnancies
People wrongfully terminated, selected for layoff or forced to quit because they were afflicted by cancer, another serious medical condition or a disability
Analysis, Thorough Investigation and Action to Earn Results
We owe our success in advocacy for California workers to total immersion in this complex legal area, a wealth of experience and a commitment to decisive action. Our lawyers thoroughly investigate each case we handle, file suit rather than relying on demand letters, and preparing for possible trial from the earliest stages.
To determine whether what you believe was an unfair termination was actually an illegal, actionable one, we must understand the circumstances. You need not take on any added financial hardship to pursue a valid claim, because our law firm provides representation on a contingency basis and handles the costs of thorough case building.
To request a consultation with a discerning, action-oriented attorney who has in-depth knowledge of all the laws covering firings and layoffs, call us toll free at 877-525-0700. Se habla espaÃ±ol.
Understanding California Wrongful Termination Law
The California Supreme Court has recognized that an employer's termination of an employee for reporting an alleged violation of a statue of public importance represents one category of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, Gantt v. Sentry, 1 Cal.4th 1083, 1090-1091 (1992) citing approvingly in Turner v. Anheuser-Busch, 7 Cal.4th 1238, 1256, 32 Cal.Rptr.2d 223, 235 (1994). Moreover, wrongful termination can be based upon an employee checking on and trying to report possible illegal conduct to company officials, Collier v. Sup. Crt. 228 Cal.App.3d 1117, 1121, 279 Cal.Rptr. 453 (1991). "Retaliation by an employer when an employee seeks to further...public policy by responsibly reporting suspicions of illegal conduct to the employer seriously impairs the public interest" and is enough for wrongful termination, at 1127, 458. [A]n employee need not provide an actual violation of the law; it suffices if the employer fired him for reporting his 'reasonably based suspicions' of illegal activity, Green v. Ralee Eng. Co. 19 Cal.4th 66, 87, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 16 , 29 (1998) referencing Collier, 1125.
In Holmes v. General Dynamics, 17 Cal.App.4th 1418, 1423, 22 Cal.Rptr.2d 172, 174 (1993) the appellate court upheld a jury verdict for wrongful termination in which the evidence was that the plaintiff was fired for telling management their conduct violated a statute regulating public policy. The Holmes court held it was proper to instruct the jury that "employers shall not terminate employees in retaliation for disclosing to the employer's management a practice of the employer that violates the False Statements Act," at 1433, 181. The Holmes court held the instruction was proper and provided clarification what the word disclose means. The Holmes court held that disclosing means to "expose to view, as by removing a cover; uncover...The make known; divulge," Id. An employer who fires an employee for 'exposing to view or 'making known' an employer's illegal conduct plainly violates a 'fundamental' or 'substantial' public policy regardless of the militancy or the decibel level of the report and even if the employee has chosen not to actively oppose the illegal conduct. A contrary rule would provide corporate managers incentive to terminate any employee after the employee has reported illegal activity but before the employees has had the opportunity to 'protest' such activity. Moreover, such rule would unfairly penalize an employee, such as Holmes, who deems it appropriate to address the situation by working through company channels rather than engaging in some form of adversarial conduct, Id.
An action for tortious discharge is not strictly limited to those situations where an employer retaliated against an employee for refusing to violate a statute, performing a statutory obligation, exercising a statutory right, or reporting an alleged violation of a statute of public importance, Gould v. Maryland, 31 Cal.App.4th 1147, 37 Cal.Rptr.2d 723 (2nd Dist. 1995). An action for tortious discharge exists wherever the basis of the discharge contravenes a fundamental public policy, Id. Additionally, Soules v. Cadam, 2 Cal.App.4th 390, 401-402 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 6, 12 (review denied 1992) held "The rule that an employee may pursue an action for tortious constructive discharge in violation of public policy is not limited to situations where, as a condition of employment, the employer coerces the employee to commit an act that violates public policy or restrains the employee from exercising a fundamental right. Such an action will lie wherever the basis of the discharge contravenes a fundamental public policy," Fundamental public policies, for the purpose of the tort of wrongful termination, include statutes, regulations, and constitutional provisions, Green at 71. Where the lawmaking power speaks on a subject over which it has constitutional power to legislate, public policy is what the statute enacts, Thome v. Macken, 58 Cal.App.2d 76 (1943). Defendant has not cited a single case stating that any statute Masey bases his public policy argument on fail to inure to the public benefit thereby creating a wrongful termination cause of action.
In order to go forward with a Tameny styled wrongful termination lawsuit, the employee does not have to affirmatively refuse to engage in statutorily prohibited conduct, or complain about statutorily prohibited conduct. The courts have ruled that terminations in order to violate certain statutes create liability under this tort. Gould v. Maryland, 31 Cal.App.4th 1137, 1148, 37 Cal.Rptr.2d 718, 724 (1995) held an employer's termination of an employee to avoid paying accrued commissions and vacation pay violated California Labor Code Section 201 and created a wrongful termination case.
Workplace Safety Violations Can Lead to Wrongful Termination The California Labor Code has a variety of provisions (statutes) that require employers to provide safety and healthful work environments. The following Labor Code Sections require employers to provide workers with a safe place of employment and safety devices, California Labor Code Sections 6400, 6402, failing to provide safety devices as required in 6401, 6403, 6404, 6406(d).
California Labor Code Section 6308 requires employers to provide necessary information about the correct safety gear. California Labor Code Section 6306 requires employers to provide safety equipment to workers.
California Labor Code Section 6310 prohibits discharge and discrimination because an employee has participated in a health and safety committee under Section 6401.7, or caused to be instituted any proceeding relating to an employee's rights about safety.
The letter and spirit of California Labor Code Section 6300 indicates it was enacted for the purpose of ensuring a safe and healthful work environment and encouraging employers to provide training about such.
The Labor Code also prohibits employers from exposing workers to hazardous substances, California Labor Code Section 6370.
Workplaces where the employees are subjected to unsafe or unhealthful conditions are not legal. If an employee is discharged or retaliated against for complaining about these types of work environments, they may have a wrongful termination case.
Contact us or call 1-877-525-0700 to speak to a Ventura wrongful termination attorney. Click here Work Lawyer LA if you live in Los Angeles.
Terminations Of Employment That Are Carried Out As Part Of A Plan To Defraud Are Wrongful Termination
Fraud is against public policy in the State of California, and is not a foreseeable part of an employment relationship. The Lazar Court remarked there is a "public interest" in pursuing the "policy objectives" underlying an action for misrepresentations based upon Section Civil Code Section 1710, Lazar v. Rykoff, 12 Cal.4th 646, Cal.Rptr.2d 386. Green v. Ralee Eng. Co. 19 Cal.4th 66, 79, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 16 also declared fraud an applicable public policy supporting a Tameny-styled wrongful termination cause of action.
Examples of terminations that are carried out as part of a plan to defraud include: 1) Hiring an employees with promises of long term employment when the employer knows they are merely hiring the employee to pick their brain, and often divulge trade secrets; 2) Making misrepresentations about the financial health of the employer when the employer knows they may not be able to afford the employee's salary very long; 3) firing an employee because they have complained of fraud being carried out towards customers, the government, or the public; 4) Firing an employee to avoid paying a wage due, including a large commission or bonus that is due.
Contact us or call 1-877-525-0700 to speak to a Ventura employee lawyer.
If you have lost a job, or have been wronfully dismissed contact an Oxnard Whistle Blower Lawyer. We can help in your termination from your work. Serving all of Ventura County including: Agoura, Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Westlake Village.
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