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What Steps Should I Take If I’m Facing Unlawful Termination? Insights from an Employment Law Attorney

Employees have protection against unlawful termination or unfair dismissal. There are several steps to take if you’re facing wrongful termination, including filing a wrongful termination claim. They can help protect you and your livelihood. 

Don’t React in a Way That Could Harm Your Case

This is easier said than done, but make sure you remain calm. Don’t react aggressively or rudely, and don’t send an angry email or post about your employer. 

Ask your employer why you’re being terminated. This can help give us insight into whether you were lawfully terminated.

File a Complaint With Your Company’s HR Department

If you believe your employer wrongfully terminated you, file an HR complaint. Ensure you go to this meeting armed with evidence. This could include:

  • Your employment contract
  • Your performance reviews
  • Any emails or direct messages you have sent or received that support your claim

Again, remember to handle this as calmly as possible. Be respectful, outline your concerns, and thank them for their time. 

Contact a Lawyer Immediately 

The next step is to contact a wrongful termination attorney. They can advise you of your next steps, ensure you don’t do anything that might jeopardize your job or case, and help you explore your options for legal recourse for termination. 

You also have a limited time to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you overstep that time limit, you may be out of options.

A lawyer can also help you determine if your termination was, in fact, wrongful. Unlawful termination could include: 

  • Retaliation (This could be in response to a , la compensación de los trabajadores claim; reporting discrimination, meal or rest break violations, overtime violations, minimum wage violations, or sexual harassment; a safety complaint; whistle blowing; or your political affiliation.)
  • Discrimination (This could be based on age, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, race, or nationality.) 
  • Breach of contract
  • Sexual harassment and a hostile work environment
  • Violations of the WARN Act

California is an “at-will” employment state, so proving discrimination on your own will be difficult. However, any conduct that violates discrimination and wrongful termination laws.

Gather Evidence

Gather evidence of discrimination, a hostile work environment, or unlawful termination. If possible, print out or forward yourself any emails or direct messages. If you recorded any calls, keep those recordings in a safe place. If another person witnessed the discriminatory practices or harassment, get their contact information. You can ask them to describe what they saw later.

If you hire an attorney, they can do this for you. 

Determine Whether You Need to File an EEOC Claim

Depending on your case, you may need to file a claim with a specific government agency. These agencies include:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): You can file a claim with the EEOC if you believe your termination resulted from discrimination. If so, you must first file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC before you can file an unlawful termination lawsuit against your employer. You file a Charge of Discrimination through the Public Portal after the EEOC has interviewed you.
  • California Civil Rights Department (CRD): If you believe you were discriminated against at work, you can file a complaint with CRD. Once you have filed, CRD can investigate your claim. However, you must provide CRD with any documents supporting your claim, the names and contact information of witnesses to the discrimination, and any record of the incident. This type of claim was formerly known as a DFEH complaint (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing). 
  • California Labor Commissioner’s Office: You can report a Labor Law violation to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. 

If you believe you were terminated because you are a whistleblower (i.e., you exposed some illegal, illicit, immoral, fraudulent, or unsafe activity in your workplace), you can file a claim with the US Department of Labor under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. 

You have a limited time to take action for all these different claims. Some of these time limits are as short as 60 days. This is why we recommend that you meet with our attorneys as soon as possible after your firing.

Our team can help you determine whether you must file a complaint with one of these entities before filing a lawsuit. Our employment law attorneys will handle the filing of any complaints or lawsuits. 

Get Help from Our Employment Law Attorneys

Getting help from our employment law team may be the most crucial step to take after being fired. Our team can help you determine whether you experienced discrimination under the law and build a robust case on your behalf and handle the entire legal process.

Llamado KJT Grupo de Derecho for a free consultation: (818) 507-8525. We can help you determine your next steps if you believe you are facing unlawful termination.

We Will Fight For You

Contact our firm to get started.
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