When an employee is terminated for a reason that is not related to work performance or is not otherwise legitimate, the employee may have a claim for wrongful termination. Although in California and certain other states, employees without an employment contract generally can be terminated with or without cause at any time, employees cannot be terminated for any reason that violates a public policy or state and/or federal laws. Although not every unfair reason for firing is a wrongful termination, common reasons for a firing that may be unlawful include:
- The employee refused to break a law
- Discrimination on the basis of age, race, national origin, gender, disability, religion, pregnancy or other protected classes
- In some states, including California, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
- Retaliation for reporting or complaining about any kind of unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment
- Retaliation for complaining about or “whistle-blowing” on violations of the law, including violations of workplace safety regulations or wage-and-hour violations
- Depending on the size of the employer, because the employee took family medical leave because of his or her own serious health condition or to care for a sick family member
- Retaliation for leave to serve in the armed forces
If you have been wrongfully and unlawfully terminated by your employer, you have the right to compensation for damages, lost wages and benefits and for emotional distress. In some cases, terminated employees may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is considered a national leader in litigation that protects the rights of ordinary people against large corporations. We have won record-setting verdicts and settlements, including the largest personal injury jury verdict in American legal history. We have obtained significant awards and settlements for people who have been severely injured, for the families of those wrongfully killed, and for employees who were unlawfully terminated by their employers.
Wrongful Termination Verdicts & Settlements
- Marx v. Storage Tek $11,980,000
- Ebrahimi v. American Express $6,000,000
- Dahn v. Rockwell $2,393,000
- Gulati v. I.B.M. $1,500,000
- Lesbines v. Universal City Nissan $1,500,000