Probably. If you have a contract or are part of a union, then you employer is bound by that contract or the collective bargaining agreement and can probably only fire you for cause or because of a lay off. If you are a state or federal employee, you may have additional rights. If you are part of a large lay-off then the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) law might provide that the employer either has to give you advance notice or severance pay. However, if you are not in one of those categories, then your employer is free to fire you for any reason, a stupid or silly reason, or no reason at all; as long as the reason isn’t based on a protected class such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
Illegal harassment must occur because of a protected classification. Protected classes in California include: Race, Color, National origin, Religion, Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), Disability: Physical or mental, Age (40 and older), Genetic information, Marital status, Sexual orientation and identity, and Political activities or affiliations. If your boss is an “equal opportunity jerk” and he/she is just an all-around terrible person, then your boss is not harassing anyone based on a protected classification and the harassment probably is not illegal. If you are not sure whether the harassment is legal, then please consult an attorney.
Yes, if you have a disability and it interferes with your ability to do your job, but not with an essential function of the job. If it interferes with an essential function of your job, then your employer does not have to make an accommodation. If the accommodation you request is unreasonable or an undue hardship on the employer, then the employer does not have to accommodate you. Your employer also has no duty to read your mind, so if you need an accommodation ask and ask before you are fired for not fulfilling that portion of your job! Please consult an attorney if you feel you need an accommodation or if you’ve requested an accommodation and have been denied your accommodation.
Retaliation occurs when an employee reports a violation of a law, and the employer treats that employee worse because of the report. If you did report a violation of the law, and you subsequently suffered a demotion, reduction in pay, or other negative employment actions, please consult an attorney to evaluate your case.
Yes, unless you are fired because you took the disability or FMLA leave. Your employer is free to fire you for another reason (reduction in force, lay off, performance issues before the leave) even if you are on disability or FMLA leave. If you were terminated while on medical leave please consult an attorney to determine if you have a claim. If you were terminated on worker's compensation leave please consult a worker's compensation attorney.
No, absent a contract or collective bargaining agreement stating that you are entitled to a severance payment. However, your employer may be willing to offer you a severance payment in exchange for you waiving any rights to sue that you may have. You should consult an attorney to determine whether you want to accept the severance pay or file a lawsuit. If you want to accept the severance package, you still might want to consult an attorney to determine whether your severance package can be negotiated to better benefit yourself. If you accept the severance package you are usually waiving all existing rights including rights that you are not aware of at the time of signing so it's important to consult with an attorney before you sign anything.
Every individual’s situation is different and we recommend that you consult with an attorney to determine whether you need legal assistance. Often there are strict deadlines to your claims, and you will be held to those deadlines even if you are not aware of them so waiting too long may affect your ability to bring a claim. If you represent yourself, you may be limited to your original claims even if you consult an attorney later in the matter and determine that you have additional actions you could have pursued.
Bring all documentation that you believe will be relevant to your case. If you have a case before the DFEH, EEOC, or a court, it is important for us to know when the next event in your case will take place. If the DFEH or EEOC have issued you a right to sue, it will be important that we know when the right to sue was issued. If you have a social security disability case, bring your medical records indicating that you are disabled and your social security denial. In all cases, it’s important for us to know approximately when the events triggering your case occurred. We will not have time to review all of your documents during your initial consolations, but it is better to bring more documents than to leave the needed document at home. Our main review of documentation will occur after you retain us as your attorney.
Disclaimer: This website is an advertisement prepared pursuant to California Law. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and e-mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.