Getting terminated is stressful.  Further, an employer’s unfair wrongful termination is infuriating.  However, a wrongfully terminated employee can obtain redress by enforcing their legal right to bring a civil lawsuit for damages against a former employer.

Your employer cannot discharge you without a justified reason.  If your former employer discharged you without good cause, you might have a legal claim for wrongful termination.  Michael M. Astanehe of San Francisco based Astanehe Law is an aggressive and experienced civil litigator well positioned to litigate your California employment claim for wrongful termination against your former employer.

What is a Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination, also widely referred to as unlawful termination or wrongful discharge relates to unlawful employee dismissal.  Accordingly, employers commit a wrongful termination upon firing an employee without a just reason, often due to discrimination, retaliation, breach of the employment contract, or a violation of public policy.

Employers frequently contend they terminated the employee for an ostensibly legitimate reason, such as inadequate performance, misconduct, or business needs.  However, employers commonly use such grounds as a pretext that masks the unlawful conduct giving rise to civil lawsuit liability.  If your former employer has fired you without good cause and has justified the termination with an illegitimate justification, call Astanehe Law today and speak with an employee rights specialist. 

Can I Sue my Former Employer for Wrongful Termination?

Employees routinely work at-will. As a result, their employer can discipline or terminate them at any time without providing a reason. An at-will employee can still initiate a lawsuit asserting their employment rights. The United States Supreme Court has held that employment at-will is not a bar to an award of damages.  Haddle v. Garrison, 525 U.S. 121 (1998). Any employee who has suffered a wrongful termination can bring a legal claim against their former employee for damages.

What are Common Wrongful Termination Scenarios?

Although wrongful termination occurs in a variety of ways, all occurrences give rise to a civil suit for damages.  Common wrongful termination examples include: 

  • Wrongful Termination Due to Discrimination:  An employer who fires an employee on the basis of racial, disability, pregnancy, sex, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or religious discrimination has committed an unlawful discharge.  If your current employer is discriminating against you, click here to learn about the steps you must take to preserve your rights.  

  • Wrongful Termination Due to Retaliation:  Employers who fire employees after the exercise of their lawful rights are subject to civil liability.  Typically, employers will discharge an employee for seemingly good cause, but the reason was merely a pretext as the employer was angry that the employee exercised a legal right, such as requesting a disability accommodation, a Family and Medical Leave Act request, filed a complaint or legal claim or acted as a whistleblower.

  • Wrongful Termination for Breach of Employment Contract:  The employment contract may contain provisions relating to disciplinary and dismissal procedures.  The parties must follow such provisions.  When an employer fires an employee in violation of these provisions, the employee has a claim for wrongful termination.

  • Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy: Terminations that are intentional, abhorrent, or committed with malice violate the law.  Click here to read more about wrongful terminations in violation of public policy.

If your former employer discharged you without legitimate good cause, you might have experienced a wrongful termination.  Contact Astanehe Law today to speak with an employee rights attorney today

What are my Damages?

Damages for wrongfully terminated employees commonly include awards of back pay, front pay, medical costs, and fringe benefits or employment perks.  More rarely, damages can also include reinstatement and the award of punitive damages.

Back pay is the difference between the compensation an employee would have earned in a job the employee was denied and the amount that the employee earned, or could have earned in the same area.  Back play reflects total earnings and includes possible pay raises and promotions.

Front pay reflects the future earnings expectancy that has been lost or diminished.  Courts generally award such damages when reinstatement to the former position is not feasible or advisable.  Fadhl v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 741 F. 2d 1163 (9th Cir. 1984)

Fringe benefits or employment perks are non-wage or salary compensation such as stock options, meal and travel allowances, and savings or retirement plan contributions.  To collect lost or denied fringe benefits, an employee must establish: (1) These benefits would have been received and are not speculative; and, (2) Their loss flows naturally from the wrongful termination. Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v. Smith, 647 P. 2d 1020 (Wyo. 1981).

Reinstatement occurs where the settlement or judgment calls for employee restoration to the former position after a wrongful discharge.  If accepted, the employer may still be required to fulfill a back pay award. However, front pay damages are not typically concurrently awarded with reinstatement.

Courts award punitive damages when the wrongful termination occurs with an intentional wrong, insult, abuse, or gross negligence to constitute an independent tort.

Employees can also recover out-of-pocket costs associated with the wrongful termination.

If you have suffered a wrongful termination, contact Astanehe Law today to learn about your potential damages.

Why Choose Astanehe Law to Represent You?

Michael M. Astanehe of Astanehe Law has several years of civil litigation experience.  Mr. Astanehe is an aggressive litigator who is willing to take your former employer to trial, if necessary.  Additionally, Mr. Astanehe provides each client with comprehensive legal service and can pursue their claims for their full value.  With Astanehe Law on your side, you are poised to obtain the maximum recovery possible under the law.  Call now to speak to an employee rights attorney today!

Do I Have to Pay Any Legal Fees Upfront?

No.  You will not owe Astanehe Law a dime until you obtain a successful settlement or judgment.  Astanehe Law provides contingency representation which means there is no upfront cost in securing legal representation.