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What happens if you were fired at work without a warning? Would you be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for firing you without a written warning? Generally, being fired without a warning is not enough to raise a legal claim against your employer. However, there are some scenarios that give rise to a valid legal claim where you could recover compensation for your injuries.

It is important to get in touch with our skilled employment law attorneys to determine if you could file a case against your employer if you have been wrongfully terminated. Our law firm serves California and Nevada. We have extensive expertise helping clients file lawsuits against their employers for mistreatment, and representing their rights in order to get the maximum compensation for their injuries.

Is Firing an Employee Without Warning Illegal?

Under both Federal and California employment laws, firing an employee without a warning is not illegal. There are no laws that specifically prohibit firing an attorney without a warning. This is because unemployment is considered “at will.” “At will” means that both parties willingly entered into an employer and employee relationship. This essentially means that any party could leave at their will at any point without requiring a warning to the other side. This also means that your employer does not necessarily need a good reason for firing you. Your employer could essentially fire you at any time for any reason.

This also means that an employee can quit at any time for any reason, even without giving the employer any notice. There may be specific laws in place depending on the workplace employment contract that you have entered into. To determine if your employer has violated the employment contract, contact our attorneys today to determine if you could recover some form of compensation from your employer.

An employment contract is generally viewed to represent both sides. It is important to remember that an employment contract does not always need to necessarily be in writing. If someone could show that there was an employment contract agreed upon orally, then the court could most likely honor it.

What is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer terminates an employee for an unlawful reason. This reason could include harassment, breach of employment contract, discrimination, etc.  Wrongful termination is a valid legal claim an employee could raise to file a lawsuit against their employer. In order to have a wrongful termination claim, the employee needs strong evidence to show that the employer treated them differently because they belong in a specific legal protected class.

Were You Fired Because You Reported a Dangerous Activity?

Whistleblowers are those that report any wrongdoing that their employer is engaging in. If you have engaged in any action of whistleblowing, and you have been fired, you may have a claim against your employer for workplace retaliation. This legal claim allows you to recover compensation from your employer.

What Type of Damages Could I Recover if I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?

If you have been wrongfully terminated from work, you could recover a variety of damages including:

  • Past lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Emotional distress as a result of the trauma
  • Monetary compensation that you have been denied from your employer (this could include overtime pay, insurance, etc.)

What should I do if I have been unfairly fired?

Our attorneys understand that it could be very difficult to be fired from a job without a warning. Many people are left paycheck to paycheck, especially after the financial toll covid-19 has taken on several families around the world. This could leave an employee distressed and confused, scrambling around for an employment attorney.

If you have been fired by your employer, the first step to take is to determine whether your employer gave you a reason for the termination. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer unfairly fires an employee because they belong to a specific legally protected class. A legally protected class is stated under both California and federal statutes. However, it is very important to have strong evidence of discrimination. If an employer is simply treating the employee unfairly, and the employee does not belong to any specific legally protected class, you may not have a valid claim against the employer. Wrongful termination and workplace discrimination are only valid under a very specific set of circumstances.

What Are Legally Protected Classes?

Employers cannot discriminate on the basis of an employee’s characteristic such as:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Veteran status
  • Pregnancy status

Workplace Discrimination

If your employer discriminates against you and fires you, you may have a claim for workplace discrimination against your employer. Workplace discrimination is considered illegal, under both Federal and California employment laws. Workplace discrimination, along with termination that occurs afterward is valid grounds for a lawsuit. If you have been fired because of your race, ethnicity, gender, sex, religion, disability, and/or pregnancy, you may have a claim against your employer for workplace discrimination. Contact our employment law attorneys today to determine if you have been discriminated against at work, and to file a claim against your employer for damages. No person should have to endure discrimination at work.

Did the Employer Act in Bad Faith?

Oftentimes, an employee could file a lawsuit against their employer for firing them without a warning. This would require that the employee proves to the court that the employer did not act with good faith and fair dealing. Each employment contract requires that both parties enter into it with good faith. Good faith essentially means that each party is honest, and does not act with any type of evil motive. If your employer fails to act in good faith, you may have a claim against your employer for firing you. Instances where your employer could show bad faith include:

  • Firing you in order to not pay your salary
  • Lying to you regarding the employment duties
  • Failing to give you any wage increases
  • Failing to pay any mandated wages such as overtime
  • When the employer harasses you in order to fire you

There are several different types of examples that are not necessarily stated here. Bad faith could exist through many different scenarios at work. Bad faith is a legal claim that still allows employees to pursue legal action against their employers for being unfairly fired.

Fired Without Warning? Consult an Attorney Today

Contact our experienced California employment attorneys for free no-risk consultation where we could review your claim and determine whether you have a valid case against your employer for wrongful retaliation. Although generally you could get fired without a warning, reasons such as discrimination or whistleblowing are not a legal valid reason to be fired. These scenarios are enough to raise a legal claim for damages.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.