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Have you been fired from work and can’t tell whether the termination was legal or illegal? Most employment across the U.S is “at-will employment‘ meaning the employee can be terminated at any moment for whatever reason or, even worse, for no reason at all. However, there are exceptions to the at-will rules, which serve to grant legal remedies to wrongfully terminated employees.
One of the exceptions to the at-will rule is the existence of a contract of employment by implication. This means a contract based on what the employer did or said. However, most employers are careful not to make promises of continued employment, and it’s, therefore, difficult to prove an implied contract of employment.
Implied contracts occur when employers promise permanent employment, employment for a specified duration, or when the employer sets forth forms of progressive discipline in the employee’s manual. When determining whether there exists an implied contract of employment, the court will look at the following factors:
- The regularity of promotions
- Period of employment
- Performance reviews
- Assurances of continuing employment
- Promises of long-term employment
- Whether the employers followed due procedure when firing you
When you have a written contract with your employer promising job security, the contract serves as prima facie evidence that you are not an employee at-will. The terms of your contract can, for example, expressly state that you are only to be fired for good reasons, and these reasons could be categorically stated in the contract.
An employment offer letter or any other written document promising continued employment will serve the same objective as a contract of employment. With these documents, you have a chance at enforcing the promises in court with the help of seasoned Newport Beach wrongful termination lawyers.
Violation of Public Policy
It’s against the law for an employer to violate public policy when terminating an employee. This means employers cannot fire workers on the grounds that society perceives as illegitimate reasons for wrongful termination. For the court to admit a claim for violation of public policy, there must be specific laws that set out such policy.
Federal and state laws have encoded employment-related actions that violate public policy. These include firing a worker for:
- Taking an off to participate in an election
- Taking an off to serve on a jury
- Whistleblowing on the company’s refusal to pay workers their commissions and vacation pay
- Serving in the National Guard or military
- Whistleblowing on harmful wrongdoing committed by the company
In some states, employees are protected from being terminated for specific reasons, such as services as a volunteer firefighter or election officer. Courts have also held that your employer cannot fire you for exercising a legal right or taking a legal remedy. Hire an unjust termination at work lawyer Newport Beach for professional representation.
Breach of Good Faith
Did your employer act unfairly? If you feel so, you can press a claim for breach of good faith and fair dealing with the help of our unfair firing lawyers Newport Beach. Ways in which employers breach the duty of good faith and fair dealing include:
- Transferring of terminating employees with the intention of preventing the collection of sales commissions.
- Misleading workers on their chances of receiving wage increases and promotions.
- Fabricating reasons for termination while the real intention is to replace the employee with another who takes a lower pay.
- Transferring an employee repeatedly to dangerous, remote, and undesirable tasks to coerce him/her into quitting without the collection of benefits.
However, it is important to note that not all courts recognize a breach of good faith and fair dealing as an exception to the at-will rule. Some state laws require proof of a formal contract of employment for an employee to claim breach of good faith and fair dealing. Speak to your unfair firing lawyers Newport Beach to establish whether you have a substantive case.
Employees who report unlawful company activities that harm public interest are protected by whistleblowing laws. Federal and state laws protect employees who expose their employers for breaking regulations, laws, or ethics. If you were terminated for whistleblowing, our Newport Beach wrongful termination lawyers would help you claim damages.
It’s also against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee who has engaged in a legally protected activity. For a retaliation claim to succeed, your employment lawyer Newport Beach must prove the following:
- The activity you undertook is legally protected
- The termination was due to that activity
- The actions of your employers had adverse consequences
An employer cannot terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons as such termination will be termed as illegal. This means you should not be fired because of your national origin, color, gender, race, disability, genetic information, religion, or pregnancy. If you believe you were terminated for any of these reasons, speak to lawyers that handle wrongful termination in Newport Beach. The limitation of action laws places strict time limits within which one can file a discrimination claim.
A defamation lawsuit serves to protect one’s good standing and reputation in the community. To show that your termination was some form of defamation, you must prove that your employer’s malicious and false statements about you in the process of terminating you and that the defamatory statements hurt your chances of securing another job.
The requirements that must be met for a defamation claim to succeed are as follows:
- Your former employer made false statements about you
- The statements were made with malice
- At least one other person heard or read the statements
- The statements have harmed you in some way, such as lost chances of securing another job
For your defamation lawsuit to succeed, you must prove that your employer’s words were more than mere petty watercooler chatter. True defamation consists of false information. With the help of unjust termination at work lawyer Newport Beach, you will stand a chance of winning a defamation lawsuit.
Termination could rise to the level of fraud if the employer’s actions were devious. Fraud can occur in the hiring stage where the employer makes promises that he later breaks or in the termination stage when an employee is coerced or induced to resign. Your lawyers that handle wrongful termination in Newport Beach must prove the following to show that your termination was fraudulent.
- False representations were made
- The employer knew of the misrepresentation
- The employer’s intention was to deceive you
- You relied upon the misrepresentation
- You were harmed for relying on such false representation
The most challenging part when it comes to proving fraud is showing that the company gave the misrepresentation on purpose. For this reason, you will need to hire a competent employment lawyer Newport Beach.
A workplace attorney like Accident Lawyers Firm will be well-versed in employment law. Their expertise will ensure that you have a strong lawsuit that is ready for court. If you feel you have been wronged by your previous employer, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lawyer to settle this issue.