Most employees in the state of California are considered “at-will” employees. This means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment contract for pretty much any reason, or for no reason whatsoever. However, the same laws prohibit employers from dismissing employees for illegal reasons such as gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. If you believe you have been unlawfully dismissed from your role, the law allows you to seek compensation for wrongful termination.
So when is employment termination deemed “wrongful?”
In California, a number of factors are used to determine what amounts to wrongful termination. Most wrongful termination cases involve those where an employer has discriminated against an employee due to their race, beliefs, or sexual orientation.
If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination in California, you may consider seeking the following claims.
- Loss of income
This refers to any payments you would have earned while in employment. Lost income can include salaries, bonuses, and pay rise by way of promotion. In such a scenario, you are expected to “mitigate” your losses by finding a similar role as soon as possible.
- Loss of benefits
Benefits are a substantial component of most employees’ compensation packages. As such, they have to be included when proving economic damages incurred as a result of wrongful termination. Benefits can include pension plans, healthcare coverage, stock options, retirement savings, as well as transportation reimbursements.
- Emotional damages
This is also referred to as compensation for pain and suffering you incurred as a result of wrongful termination. The jury or the judge will award such damages if they are convinced the employer’s actions caused you considerable emotional distress. To prove emotional distress, you will need to provide testimony from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.
The success of your wrongful termination suit will largely depend on the facts surrounding your dismissal. As such, it is important that you engage an expert when prepping your suit. An experienced employment law attorney will review your claim, advise on your chances of success, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.