Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Many interpret the term “wrongful termination” to have to do with unfair terminations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. That is because California is an “at-will” state, meaning that an employer can terminate you for almost any reason. But, an employer cannot terminate you for an unlawful reason. When an employer terminates you for a reason that is illegal, or for a reason that is against California’s public policy, it constitutes a wrongful termination. Thus, most often, a wrongful termination occurs when an employee is terminated based on a protected characteristic such as disability, pregnancy, taking medical leave, requesting a reasonable accommodation, age, race, sex, gender, national origin, or religion.
Of course, most employers do not tell you that they are terminating you for an unlawful reason. Some of them even insist they are not terminating you. For example, injured employees who come back to work restrictions are often not scheduled to work, or are provided work much less often than they were before they were provided with those restrictions. They may not return phone calls or may state that there just is not work available for you. However, the employer may not be telling the truth. Anyhow, an employer cannot mask a termination just by saying you are still on their record as an employee but never reaching out to you.
In most cases, as long as the employer has work that you can perform that would not cause for it an undue burden to have you perform that work, and so long as it is not dangerous for you and those around you to perform that work, they have a duty to accommodate you so that you can continue working. Furthermore, your employer has a duty to communicate with you in good faith as part of an interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations at the workplace so that you can continue working with them. If you end up out of work because of a failure to accommodate or engage in that good faith interactive process resulting from a disability or medical condition, that may constitute a wrongful termination.
In other cases, an employer might get rid of an employee, be it due to their older age, a disability, a request for medical leave, a pregnancy, or that employee’s reporting of unlawful practices, as part of a lay-off. But even when laying off employees, an employer cannot base an employee’s lay-off on any of these considerations. It should only be considering rational and fair bases, such as your seniority, your performance reviews, your attendance and punctuality records, and your disciplinary records. In a partial lay-off, if someone is chosen to be laid off instead of others, and a substantial reason for the lay-off of that person was an unlawful reason, then the termination may be wrongful, as well.
All in all, losing your job can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. The Bibiyan Law Group however is committed to ensuring workplace justice and in preventing employers from continuing to institute harmful policies. Contact Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer David Bibiyan to discuss your rights today.