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Common Types of Wrongful Termination Cases in Orange County and How to Navigate Them

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If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you’re not alone. Orange County employment law attorneys regularly handle wrongful termination cases for clients who think they were fired for illegal or unjust reasons. Many of these types of cases fall into the same few categories, including discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract. Consider the details about each type of case, and then talk to a lawyer for help proving your claim.

Do You Have Evidence That Your Employer Discriminated Against You?

Among the most common types of wrongful termination cases in Orange County is discrimination. If you have reason to believe your employer fired you because you belong to a protected class, this is a violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You shouldn’t even have to consider that you might have lost your job because of your religion, sexual orientation, race, sex, or other protected characteristics. But if this possibility crossed your mind after you were fired without warning, you likely have a few reasons to believe it. Maybe you’ve heard several offensive slurs in the workplace or noticed only people who don’t look like you get promoted, even though you’ve never gotten a negative report about your work performance.

If this is the case, you should start gathering documentation to prove it. If your coworkers have noticed the same discriminatory comments or actions in the workplace, ask them if they’ll be witnesses for your legal claim. If you have text messages or emails with discriminatory comments, jokes, or assumptions about you based on protected characteristics, prepare to show your lawyer when you’re ready to file a wrongful termination case in Orange County.

Do You Think Your Employer Fired You Out of Retaliation?

Another common type of wrongful termination case involves retaliation. In this type of case, you allege that your employer fired you to punish you for taking an action you had a legal right to take.

For example, if you were hurt at work and filed a workers’ compensation claim to get money for lost wages and medical bills, this was an action you were allowed to complete. However, you might have noticed a reduction in hours or pay when you returned to work, along with unprofessional comments suggesting you shouldn’t have filed a claim. If this occurred and you were fired shortly after that, be sure to document this evidence for your workplace retaliation case.

Another example of retaliation is if you were fired after reporting your employer for illegal activities. For instance, if you noticed evidence of fraud and told a supervisor or government agency about it, you have legal protections as a whistleblower. They include not being fired or dealing with a hostile work environment because of your report. If your employer terminated you shortly after you reported unlawful conduct, you can make a case for whistleblower retaliation. If you can prove your termination was in retaliation, you can pursue damages in court to compensate you for lost wages, damage to your reputation, and other losses.

Did You Have an Employment Contract?

Most positions in Orange County are at-will, so your employer can fire you without providing a clear reason. As long as there is no evidence to suggest discrimination or retaliation, they could be within their rights to let you go without explanation. The exception to this is if you had an employment contract with a specific termination process.

For instance, if your contract states that your employer must give you three written warnings before firing you, they could be in breach if they didn’t give you any warnings first. The contract might also specify reasons they can and cannot terminate you from your position. Make sure you look over your contract carefully after you’re fired, and if you see a potential violation, contact an Orange County employment lawyer.

Experienced lawyers can tell you if you likely have a case during your first meeting, at which point they will provide guidance on what documentation you need to prove your claim. If you’re curious whether you have a solid wrongful termination case, contact Odell Law, PLC to talk to caring Orange County employment attorneys. Call 949-771-8173 for a free initial consultation.

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