Santa Clara Attorneys Specializing in Wrongful Termination
Our Santa Clara attorneys practice out of office locations in Alameda and San Mateo and exclusively represent employees in workplace-related litigation. One of their primary areas of specialty is Wrongful Termination claims that typically result from employer violations against public policy, discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblowing. Examples include pregnancy or medical leave violations, sexual harassment, and whistleblower qui tam complaints when employers violate federal or state false claims act statutes.
If you are the victim of Wrongful Termination (or Discharge), contact our Santa Clara County-based attorneys for a consultation. Once our attorneys analyze your case, we send a notice of intent to commence litigation letter to your former employer. Most often, this is all it takes to settle the case before entering into a pre-litigation activity such as subpoenaing of records and deposing relevant witnesses. Since all of our attorneys boast years of court experience, we strategize and organize each case in preparation for trial. This message is typically heard loud and clear by the former employer, and prior to advancing further into litigation and jury selection, employers choose to forgo the plaintiff-favoring California juries and settle. Alternatively, our attorneys may also file a complaint on your behalf with the proper court or government entity such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Labor. There are many aspects of each case, and only a specialized attorney can gauge how strong it is my review of the employee’s records, evaluations, work history, company policies such as handbooks, industry-specific elements as well as regional and court-specific approaches. If you work in Santa Clara County and are in search of a Wrongful Termination Attorneys, call our Santa Clara law office today for a free no obligation consultation with an experienced Wrongful Termination Attorneys in Santa Clara.
California’s “at will” employment environment ensures that employers and employees have the lawful flexibility to make employment-related decisions. However, these decisions may not be made due to employees’ participation in protected activity or stemming from discrimination based harassment, whistleblower activity, retaliation, and violations of public policy.
There are many forms of illegal discrimination in the workplace. Protections are afforded under both federal law (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and state law (Fair Employment and Housing Act). These include the following:
Age Discrimination (40 or over)
Sex/Gender/Sexual Orientation Discrimination
National Origin/Ancestry Discrimination
We have a thorough understanding of the laws that govern these civil rights violations, including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Equal Pay Act (EPA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Our careful application of the laws to our clients’ cases has led to us recovering more than $100 million in settlements and awards over the past five years.
Whistleblowing – Involving Fraud
Both federal and California state law protect whistleblowers who either notify their employers of wrongdoing or reach out to the government for enforcement if the employee reasonably believes the employer committed illegal activity. In such areas as the financial industry (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) and Healthcare (False Claims Act), there are specific protections for the whistleblower, or those who call-out employers who break the law. For example, there is the Whistleblower Protection Act that protects employees from workplace retaliation when he or she reports employer misconduct (wrongful discharge, demotion, suspension, harassment, etc.). Our attorneys then guide the employee by filing the charge with the specific government enforcement agency as well as the court.
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees that reported harassment, discrimination, or other illegal activity in the workplace. This law applies to both employees at will and contractors. Many statutes contain anti-retaliation provisions. These include protections under California Labor Code 1102.5, Whistleblower Protection Act, False Claims Act, health and safety code, and many others. If retaliation takes place and an employee is fired or otherwise negatively impacted, he or she may be eligible for compensation, reinstatement, attorneys’ fees, lost wages, lost benefits, emotional suffering, and punitive damages.
Violations Against Public Policy
To establish a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy claim, the employee must prove all of the following five elements:
(1) An employment relationship existed;
(2) The employer terminated (or took another adverse employment action against) the employee;
(3) The termination was in violation of public policy;
(4) The termination was the cause of the employee’s injury; and
(5) The employee suffered damages as a result of having been terminated.
The most important area is the required causal link between the employee’s protected activity and the termination. A causal link may be established by the employer’s knowledge that the employee engaged in protected activity, and the proximity in time between that protected activity and the retaliatory employment decision.
“Public Policy” violations take place when the employer violated a legally protected policy that benefits the public at large. These protected activities include inhibiting employees from properly dispensing their duties whether it’s political activity or affiliation, testifying at a hearing, civic duties, military service, or jury service. Other violations of public policy include unsafe workplaces, right to a workplace free of violence, right for to compete in California (refusing to sign a non-compete), violation of family or medical leave laws, and other unlawful practices that negatively affect the public at large.
Another form of wrongful termination is “constructive wrongful termination.” This occurs when the employee is not terminated but quits due to conditions that are so terrible that he or she is effectively forced out or left with no option but to quit. If conditions are so severe that a reasonable person would not continue working in that environment, then a person may quit and seek damages for their lost wages.
To review your case as to rights and options, speak to our Santa Clara wrongful termination attorneys at Santa Clara Employment Attorneys today for a free consultation. We cover the entire northern California region and would be glad to assist in a timely manner since many employment-related cases have a short filing period. Call us today at 877-789-9707.
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“Mr. Danz and Ms. Porter, Thank you very much for your legal assistance a few weeks back. The problems I was encountering at work were having an extremely adverse effect on every aspect of my daily life. Relationships with my fiancé, friends, and family were growing increasingly tense, and my overall daily outlook was grim as a consequence of not being able to see any viable options to remedy the situation. Your willingness to write, speak over the phone, and meet with me was extremely generous. Furthermore, the way in which you treated my family and I was overwhelming. In a calm, compassionate, and sincere fashion, you were able to explain to us very clearly several meaningful options in which to resolve the conflict I had with my employer. On the drive home from meeting with both of you, I felt for the first time in a long time, a sense of relief and renewed the ability to enjoy the moment.
Santa Clara Wrongful Termination Attorney