If a person is laid off or fired from their job after facing harassment, they may wonder if they could file a legal claim against the employer. Many terminated workers don’t because they are employed at will; they can quit or be fired at any time, as long as the reason for the firing isn’t illegal. For instance, a person fired for attendance problems or simply because it didn’t work out may have no recourse against an employer. This does not mean that all firings are legal, however. Even an at-will worker can sue if they’re fired for a discriminatory reason. In such situations, the worker should consult an employment or civil harassment lawyer in Temecula.
Wrongful Termination: What Is It?
Wrongful termination is a catch-all term that refers to illegal firing reasons such as those listed here.
• Discrimination: It is illegal to fire a worker because of their race, gender, religion, nationality, age or disability. Local and state laws sometimes protect other characteristics such as sexual orientation and marital status.
Retaliation: Employers cannot fire workers because they complained about illicit behavior like discrimination, harassment, or hour and wage violations.
Public policy violations: In most areas, it is illegal to fire a worker for a reason that most would regard as morally wrong. For instance, a person fired for exercising their legal rights, refusing to commit a crime or reporting workplace wrongdoing may have a legitimate claim.
Additionally, workers may have a breach of contract claim, because not all are considered at-will employees. If a worker has a contract stipulating that they can only be fired for certain reasons, the employer must abide by it.
When to Consult an Attorney
If the circumstances of an employee’s termination suggest that it may have been done illegally, the worker may want to call an employment or civil harassment lawyer in Temecula. The attorney can review the case’s facts and determine whether a legal claim exists. If there’s a legitimate claim, an attorney can help the client assert their rights and negotiate a fair settlement. Clients can visit the website of the Law Office of Michelle Penna for more details or to schedule a consultation.