The employer and employee relationship in Escondido should always revolve around an equal exchange of trust and respect. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. Being fired out of nowhere without any indication that an individual’s performance has been declining could offer a viable scenario to hold an employer accountable for wrongful termination. If you believe you are a victim of this, you need an Escondido wrongful termination lawyer.
Enlisting the support of a wrongful termination attorney can make the difference between having to move on from a role you love or getting your job back and being compensated for the damages endured.
There are many instances where it is perfectly legal to fire an employee for certain behaviors, but there are also illegitimate reasons as well. When it is proven that someone was unjustly fired, it provides grounds for a wrongful termination case. For example, many of these cases that are escalated to court are found to have merits in discrimination. This means that someone was fired due to a protected characteristic, such as their race, gender, orientation, age, or even disability.
This could also include scenarios where an employer fires someone simply for being pregnant to avoid having to pay for their maternity leave.
Another example that falls under wrongful termination is retaliation. This is when an employee is let go because they tried to report an illegal action they found during their time at the company. This could be anything from observing a supervisor embezzling money all the way to a safety violation that management is deliberately overlooking.
The piece of these scenarios that constitutes a wrongful termination case is when the leaders of the business fire the individual for knowing about these acts rather than taking accountability and trying to reverse them.
Like any legal case in Escondido, CA, the quality of evidence collected to support your allegation will influence the likelihood it is proven to be true in court. The most common evidence used in these types of cases include:
Written documentation: Because there are a ton of different written and digital communications in the business world, these can be very compelling pieces of evidence to prove your allegation. Any combination of emails, memos, text messages, or even handwritten notes can prove you have been retaliated against rather than being lawfully let go.
Performance reviews could also fall under this category as evidence, as it may allow you to show a disconnect between a history of good praise and details in the documentation that claims the decision was performance-based.
Witness testimonies: The more people who are able to testify that they also witnessed the retaliatory behavior from the employer, the stronger your case can be. It offers the court a non-biased, third-party account of what happened, which can help to find holes in the opposing counsel’s account of what happened.
Employment policies: You will want to spend time with your employment lawyer to review all policies and procedures that are documented at the organization. If there is any evidence to show that the company violated its own termination or disciplinary policies, it can help to make your case. For example, this could include a company rule that states an employee is granted 90 days from being told there is a performance issue to try and restore the quality of their work to keep their job.
While no one can guarantee a win in court, there are different factors that can help to boost your chance of success. These factors include the strength of your evidence, the quality of your legal representation, and how clear-cut or vague the actions of your employer were.
If the court finds that there is a clear link between your termination and something you did that does not count as a valid reason for being let go, the chances of a favorable outcome increase. Having an employment lawyer on your team can help minimize any risks to your case and ensure that it has a strong chance of being successful in court.
The final settlement number will vary based on the severity of the wrongful termination. Less severe cases, such as an employee being terminated without proper notice, will likely result in a lower settlement compared to someone who was directly fired for being a whistleblower on illegal activity.
On top of this, if it is also proven that the employee suffered emotional distress or took a significant financial hit, the settlement could be even higher. While previous cases do set a precedent, each case is unique and should be worked on by an employment lawyer to do everything they can to maximize your final settlement.
The clearest way to validate if you have been wrongfully terminated is by taking a look at the employment laws or the terms of your specific employment. Under California law, it is illegal to fire someone who has raised concern over illegal activity they witnessed or unsafe conditions they were expected to work under. It is also against the law to fire someone based on their protected characteristics, such as race or gender.
Even if you are still unclear if you were rightfully terminated or not, you should still connect with an attorney to share your story and see what their opinion is on what happened. They will be honest about your chances of a successful win in court.
If you have even the slightest suspicion that termination was due to discriminatory reasons over poor performance, you want to connect with an attorney immediately to review your situation. Your attorney will look for any patterns of evidence that might support your claim, such as past firings at the organization or discrimination within their hiring practices.
Other pieces of evidence they will look for are if the company has a history of making discriminatory comments or treating employees unequally or if there was a sudden shift in one of your performance evaluations without clear evidence as to why.
No one should be forced to accept they have been wrongfully terminated. If this has happened to you or someone you know, contact us at The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III to inquire about filing a lawsuit and receiving compensation for any damages that can be proven true in court.