Q: Am I protected by the law from wrongful termination?
A: Of course. Pursuant to number of Federal and California State laws, such as the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California Labor Code, as well as employment discrimination laws including Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), covered employees are protected from wrongful termination.
Q: What does ‘wrongful termination’ mean?
A: Being wrongfully terminated means that you were dismissed from your work due to illegal reasons, such as discrimination based on your race, race, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition and genetic information.
Q: What are other reasons considered illegal by the law?
A: Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee if he or she refuses to give a sexual favor. Termination as a form of sexual harassment is against the law. Employees who file a complaint about their employers who violate certain laws with particular government agencies are protected by whistle-blowing laws. Hence, employers cannot terminate them based on their filing of a complaint. Under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), certain employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leaves for medical or family reasons. Employees entitled to FMLA should not be terminated based on their proper usage of their leave benefits.
Q. What does ‘at-will’ employee mean?
A: ‘At-will’ employees may be terminated by their employers without notice for as long as the reason for the termination was in accordance with the law.
Q: What should I do if I was wrongfully terminated?
A: The first thing you should do is to gather pieces of evidence proving that you were indeed terminated wrongfully by your employer. The next step is to consult with a wrongful termination law expert who will guide you in filing a claim against your employer. Make sure to hire a legal professional who has extensive experience in handling unlawful termination cases since such claims are complicated and require specific legal expertise.