If your employer wrongfully terminated you from your job, you might be wondering what your legal options are that include filing a civil lawsuit. A California employment attorney who handles wrongful termination cases can explain every one of your legal options, as well as help you gather and organize the evidence you need to win a wrongful termination claim.
Exceptions to the At-Will Employment Rule
Most employees work at-will, which means they can leave their jobs at any time, for any reason. The same principle applies to employers that can fire an employee for any legal reason at any time during the employee’s tenure with the company.
The key word here is “legal.”
California workers cannot be terminated for illegal reasons, such as discrimination, retaliation, and exercising a state or federally granted employment right. If your employer fired you for an illegal reason, then you should consider taking legal action against your employer.
Evidence for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If you and your lawyer decide to file a wrongful termination claim against your employer, the next step in the legal process is to collect and organize the evidence you need to win a civil lawsuit.
One of the most influential sources of evidence is your personnel file. Tucked inside your personnel file are records that create a background and timeline for your tenure with your former company. Information like promotions, performance reviews, and disciplinary actions can help you develop a strong case against your employer. What you want is a personnel file that does not have any documents that mention disciplinary actions.
Most employers establish standards that define what they accept out of their employees. This includes grounds for termination, as well as the disciplinary process. If your employer did not follow one or more standards that are listed in the employee handbook, then you have evidence that your employer violated one or more of its policies.
If you experienced harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace, the illegal acts might have caused you to miss time from work. Pay records can demonstrate how much time you missed from work and how much money you lost in wages. If you win a wrongful termination lawsuit, your employer might have to pay all your lost wages.
Images and Messages
Harassing photographs and messages can provide the court with convincing evidence of illegal acts that took place at work. If you saved emails that prove discrimination, the emails can be the difference between you winning a wrongful termination claim and you walking out of a courtroom empty-handed.
Witness statements typically do not persuade a judge to approve a wrongful termination claim. What witness statements do is corroborate the physical evidence that you collected, such as threatening emails and harassing social media images. Establishing a pattern of illegal behavior conducted by your employer can help your claim.
Contact an Employment Attorney
Your lawyer will try to reach a settlement with your employer before filing a civil lawsuit for wrongful termination. Reaching a favorable settlement not only can get you the compensation that you deserve, but it also helps you avoid the stress of going through a trial. If your attorney cannot reach a settlement, then the next step involves filing a claim in a civil court.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the experienced wrongful termination attorneys at the PLBSH Law firm. You can reach us at (800) 435-7542.