Employers need to follow the federal and California rules on hiring, firing, and other parts of the employment process. They generally can’t discriminate based on your race, your gender, or your country of origin. They generally can’t fire you because you have a disability, because you’re too old, or because you asserted your legal rights by filing a workers’ compensation claim, serving on a jury, or for other legal reasons. They can’t sexually harass you and then fire you because you complained.
Wrongful termination factors
The damages for wrongful termination depend on essentially two main factors.
- The first factor is whether there is a written employment contract. Managers, supervisors, employees who have very unique skills or experience, and others often enter into a written contract – especially if the employer and employee anticipate working together for a period of years. If there is a written contract, then this contract should set forth what damages the employee is allowed if he/she is fired. If the firing was due to discrimination or other illegal factors, the employee may also have the right to file a wrongful termination claim based on the laws that were violated. The damages would then be determined by that law.
- The second factor is which law sets forth the damages for wrongful termination. There are different laws that apply to wrongful termination such as:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Laws to protect whistleblowers from retaliation
- Laws to protect employees from sexual harassment and abuse
- Other public laws designed to protect employees
The damages allowed
The damages that can be awarded generally include some or all of the following:
- The reemployment of the person fired
- Compensation for any lost wages
- Compensation for any lost benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits
- In some cases, you may be entitled to damages for emotional distress
- In some cases, you may be entitled to legal fees
- Statutory damages – any specific damages set forth in the statute
- Depending on the basis for the firing and the applicable law, employees may also be entitled to file a claim for punitive damages.
There are other ways for filing a wrongful termination claim. An employer may have made oral or implied promises which weren’t set forth in writing. Damages in these cases can depend on what promises were made or expected.
The California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates fights to hold employers liable for firings that are illegal or that violate the terms of an employment contract. We seek to get the worker his/her job back and to obtain all the damages the law permits. If you’ve been fired improperly, call us at 877-789-9707 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment. Se habla espanol.