Job loss is one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life.
If you think your termination was unfair or came after you were harassed, discriminated against, or was in retaliation for reporting someone else’s conduct, it can feel even worse.
In fact, that kind of firing may even be a violation of the law.
In these circumstances, you will want to speak with a wrongful termination lawyer as soon as possible.
Meet Wrongful Termination Attorney John W. Dalton
California wrongful termination attorney John W. Dalton has fought for nearly 30 years to get victims of wrongful termination the compensation they deserve.
John’s Southern California law practice is plaintiff-focused, helping victims like you file claims and achieve the results you need to be made whole.
He has been featured on national news programs like Primetime Live with Chris Wallace for his work in fighting for victims’ rights and achieving some of the most substantial verdicts in California history.
When filing an employment lawsuit, you need a lawyer who is ready and willing to go to trial for you.
John is an experienced Indio wrongful termination lawyer who is unafraid of taking your case to court if needed.
What Is At-Will Employment In California?
The default presumption in most states is that employees work “at will” for an employer.
The employer can terminate an at-will employee at any time and for any lawful reason. This means employers have wide latitude in discharging employees in at-will employment states.
However, their power is not unlimited. California is an at-will employment state, but discharging an employee for an illegal reason can be the basis for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
California has a number of laws that protect employees’ rights. We will discuss some of those protections below.
How Do I Identify Wrongful Termination In California?
1. Wrongful Termination Based on Protected Class
In California, both federal and state anti-discrimination laws help protect workers.
California’s anti-discrimination law is called the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). It lists the “protected classes” of workers against whom an employer cannot discriminate.
The list of protected classes created by FEHA includes the following:
- Gender identity,
- Gender expression,
- Sexual orientation,
- Disability (both mental and physical),
- Medical condition,
- Genetic information,
- National origin,
- Military/veteran status, and
FEHA also prohibits any retaliation. If you are a member of any of these protected classes and you believe you have been terminated because of that, speak with a wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible.
The Law Office of John W. Dalton can help assess the strength of your claim.
2. Wrongful Termination Based on Using Leave
FEHA also protects you from wrongful dismissal for using leave offered to you by law.
California law states that you have the right to paid sick leave. If you or a family member needs medical care for either an existing medical condition or to seek preventative care, you cannot be wrongfully terminated for taking leave.
Additionally, your employer cannot fire you for requesting leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
The CFRA entitles all California employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave.
Whether taking your leave is to deal with a serious health condition or provide care for a family member with a serious health condition, your employer may not discriminate against you.
3. Wrongful Termination for Reporting a Violation of the Law
California wrongful termination laws also protect employees who “blow the whistle” on wrongdoing by their employers.
Whistleblowers are employees who report what they reasonably believe to be a violation of a state or federal law, rule, or regulation at work.
Employers who retaliate against whistleblowers may have to pay heavy fines in addition to paying damages to wrongfully terminated employees.
If your specific situation does not fit into any of these scenarios, it does not mean you do not have a case for wrongful termination. These situations are merely illustrations.
A qualified California wrongful termination attorney can assess your claim and help you decide the next steps.
What Do I Do After I Am Wrongfully Terminated?
If you believe you have been wrongfully discharged, it is very important to stay calm.
Instead of becoming angry and reacting negatively, focus on taking actions that may eventually help you win a wrongful termination case against your employer.
Gossiping, disparaging your former colleagues, and angry social media posts can all hurt your potential case.
If you are offered an exit interview, be sure to ask the reason why you are being fired. Sometimes, an employer will admit that it terminated an employee for an unlawful reason.
Other times, the employer will provide one reason to the employee upon exit, and then offer a different reason once the employee hires a wrongful termination attorney.
At the Law Office of John W. Dalton, we can help you navigate these confusing flip-flops by your former employer.
Remember to document everything related to your wrongful dismissal.
Everything from basic facts—like where you worked, who you worked for, and what your job was—as well as the more complex questions about your termination.
If possible, request a copy of your personnel file or performance evaluations.
How Do I Find a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Near Me?
Finding a wrongful dismissal attorney is one of the most critical things you can do after your employer unlawfully terminates you. Not all attorneys are the same.
You want to find an Indio wrongful termination lawyer who will pursue your claim all the way to court if necessary.
Contact Indio Wrongful Termination Attorney John W Dalton
At the Law Office of John W. Dalton, we understand how wrongful termination can derail not only your career but also your self-esteem. Let us take the fight to help you earn what you deserve.
John is a dedicated and experienced California wrongful termination lawyer who will be able to discuss your legal options with you.
Even if you are not ready to file a lawsuit against your former employer, take a moment to contact us to set up an initial consultation.
Our experienced lawyer also handles other types of employment cases including: