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Torrance Wrongful Termination

Lawyers Representing Employees in Torrance

Torrance is a coastal city located in southwestern Los Angeles County. Its population as of 2013 was 147,000. Major employers in Torrance include Exxon Mobil Refinery, American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Honeywell Aerospace, and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Employment is at will in California, but your employer cannot violate the law or go against public policy when terminating you. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of an illegal firing, a skillful Torrance wrongful termination attorney of the Calderone Law Firm can help you explore your legal options.

Wrongful Termination

Most California employees work at will, which means they usually can be terminated for any reason and even for no reason. They can be terminated with or without notice. However, there are certain exceptions. It is possible to bring a lawsuit for wrongful termination if it’s in violation of a contract, a statute, public policy, or in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

Termination in Violation of Contract

Both oral and written contracts can be binding. If your employment contract promises you employment for a specific period or restricts your employer’s ability to terminate you, both you and your employer are supposed to live up to your end of the bargain. An employer that has bound itself to keeping you on for a set period, except where there is “good cause” to terminate you, must live up to those contractual terms. If your employer terminates you in violation of your employment contract, you may be able to sue and recover damages for wages, benefits, and whatever else you would have received had the contract not been breached. A wrongful termination lawyer serving Torrance can help you assert your rights under these circumstances.

Termination in Violation of Anti-Discrimination Laws

Federal and state anti-discrimination laws provide that certain characteristics or classes are protected. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) sets forth protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, pregnancy, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, gender identity, citizenship status, medical condition, domestic violence victim status, and others. Some of these are also prohibited under federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. If you are terminated because you are a member of a protected class under FEHA or a federal law, and your employer is covered by the pertinent law, you may be able to sue for wrongful termination in order to recover lost wages, benefits, and emotional distress damages.

Termination as Retaliation

Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee for engaging in a protected activity or for trying to enforce employment rights. For example, you shouldn’t be terminated because you lodged a complaint of sexual harassment with HR. For another example, you shouldn’t be terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Termination in Violation of Public Policy

Employees should not be terminated in violation of public policy. This kind of claim can be tricky, but an experienced Torrance wrongful termination attorney can help you determine whether one may apply in your situation. These claims may be similar to retaliation claims. Generally, however, retaliation claims are based on statutory language within an anti-discrimination statute or another statute that provides for certain employment rights. Wrongful termination claims arising out of public policy violations may not be based on a specific statute. Rather, they may argue that even though there’s no express law covering a particular action that the employee took, public policy at large dictates that a worker shouldn’t be fired for taking that action. The action could be refusing to violate a law, performing a legal duty, exercising a statutory privilege, or reporting a violation of a law of public importance. For example, if you were fired for reporting criminal wrongdoing at your company, you might have a wrongful termination claim arising out of a public policy violation. For another example, if you were required to perform jury duty, and were terminated for doing so, you may have a wrongful termination claim.

Consult a Skillful Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Torrance

If you are concerned about wrongful termination in Torrance, a skillful litigator at the Calderone Law Firm can assess your potential case. We provide our clients with tenacious and knowledgeable representation. Call the Calderone Law Firm at (424) 348-8290 or contact us through our online form.