San Francisco Wrongful Termination Attorneys
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination occurs whenever someone is fired in a way that violates California public policy. California public policy includes everything codified in state law. This means that if an employee is fired in a way that violates state statutes, such as those prohibiting employment discrimination, harassment or retaliation, then he or she also has a claim for wrongful termination.
This claim would be in addition to a claim involving the violation of the anti-discrimination or harassment statutes themselves. Wrongful termination claims are very important because they can significantly expand the range of compensation and damages that employees can seek for workplace violations.
Example: An employee who becomes seriously ill needs to take time off from work. The employee properly requests unpaid leave under the California Family Rights Act (the state equivalent of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act), but because the leave is coming at an inconvenient time, the employer fires the sick employee. The employee can claim wrongful termination because the firing violates a clear, codified California state policy — that seriously ill employees should be able to take time off from work.
What Is Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when employees are punished for “whistleblowing.” This means the employee was trying to assert his or her workplace rights or was engaging in other activities that are protected by law.
There are two main components to a retaliation claim. First, the employee must have been engaging in protected activity, such as complaining about perceived safety violations. Then, he or she must have suffered some sort of adverse employment action because of it, such as termination, demotion or transfer to a less desirable job.
Example: An employee working at a pharmaceutical company notices the company is concealing harmful test results concerning an experimental new drug. The employee reports the company’s conduct to the Food and Drug Administration and then gets fired when the company finds out. The employee has a claim for unlawful retaliation.
Free Consultation With a Bay Area Employer Retaliation Lawyer
If you think you are a victim of wrongful termination or retaliatory firing, I offer a free case evaluation by telephone. Call 415-689-6590 (866-290-0424 toll free) or contact me, a San Francisco employer retaliation attorney, online to talk to me about your case.