Questions That Clients Ask Us About Employment Law In California
At The Velez Law Firm, PC, we often answer questions such as those below, customizing our replies to each employee’s circumstances.
Was I fired unfairly?
The answer, of course, depends on facts and the laws that apply to those facts. Your employer may justify dismissing you by reminding you that California is an “at-will” work state. While this is true, employers sometimes use that as an excuse for an illegal or unethical job termination. If our employment law attorneys evaluate your case, we will investigate multiple angles, such as the following:
- Did your employer violate the terms of your employment contract? You may be able to bring a breach of contract claim.
- Were you fired after you complained about discrimination or sexual harassment at work? You may have experienced retaliatory discharge, which is illegal.
- Were you fired after acting as a whistleblower? The law protects you.
For an exploration of possible legal remedies, contact an attorney.
What is a hostile work environment?
A hostile work environment may involve ongoing sexual harassment or other types of harassment or discrimination that the employer allows to continue over time. The conditions should be severe, abusive and pervasive enough that they impact your ability (or that of anyone else experiencing the hostilities) to work in peace.
What options do I have?
If your employer has subjected you to discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge or any violation of your employment rights, you may:
- Report the wrongdoing to your supervisor or another authority at work to establish an official record
- File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- Bring a civil lawsuit to pursue economic, emotional and/or punitive damages. You may also seek reinstatement if you were wrongfully discharged.
How do I prove I was discriminated against?
Ask an attorney about preserving evidence. Your lawyer may recommend the following actions:
- Keep a log of incidents and conversations;
- Prepare a summary of your work history and reviews.
- Keep any physical evidence, such as email exchanges, notes or photos of aspects of a hostile work environment.
Also, ask for help investigating the employer’s history in their treatment of employees.