Certain experiences can dramatically affect your financial circumstances and your career success. Suddenly losing your job with little forewarning can lead to delayed career development, reduced earning potential and weeks of stress as you transition to a new job. Companies sometimes have to make difficult decisions to let workers go for a variety of reasons.
Choosing not to renew a contract when it ends because the company doesn’t feel like the worker was a good fit is one possible situation. Merging with another business and needing to eliminate redundant positions is another. Letting go of a worker who doesn’t meet performance expectations or who has interpersonal issues on the job is also a frequent occurrence.
Regardless of whether the company didn’t renew your contract, let you go as part of a downsizing effort or allegedly terminated you for cause, you may feel as though they violated your rights. While most terminations are painful, that does not mean they are necessarily wrongful. When does a termination become a violation of your employment rights?
Did your termination results from reporting misconduct?
In California, if you had to go to human resources because your supervisor has made discriminatory statements or if you submitted reports that company policies or plans would violate the law in some way, you may have protection from retaliation.
You should be able to speak up about a hostile workplace environment and misconduct on the job without fear of your employer retaliating against you. If you started receiving negative feedback immediately after filing a complaint, that could be a warning that your termination was the result of retaliation.
Do you believe discrimination played a role in your firing?
In circumstances like downsizing, you might notice that many of the workers getting let go by the company were over the age of 40, members of the same religion or part of the same racial group. If your employer disproportionately terminated people from one protected category or several of them, that could be an indicator of wrongful termination based on discrimination.
Did you have any forewarning of your upcoming termination?
If your employer fired you without a history of behavior or any records of disciplinary action, it might bolster your claim of wrongful action on their part. Reviewing your contract and the circumstances that led to your termination with a lawyer can give you a better idea about if you have the right to take action.