Imagine getting called into your boss’s office first thing in the morning. You walk in and instead of the meeting you expected, your boss terminates your employment. Perhaps there were signs this was coming. Maybe your boss had been looking for a reason to let you go. Or, maybe this came out of nowhere. No matter the specifics, the best thing you can do is to stay calm and take stock of the both how and when you were fired.
Unless you were covered by a union contract, you were probably an “at-will” employee. This means that not only can you generally quit your job at any time for any reason but your boss can also fire you at almost any time for any reason. The key word here is “almost.” There are certain situations that can result in a wrongful termination and you might be able to take legal steps to fight back. Here are some signs of a wrongful termination that could apply to your circumstances.
Violation of written or implied promises
When you accepted the job offer in Santa Barbara for a particular amount of pay for your work, you and your employer entered into a contract. The contract could have been written or verbal. Either way, it was legally binding. Perhaps you agreed to work for a certain amount of time. If you did and your boss fired you before the time period was complete, then you might have a case for wrongful termination.
There was discrimination
There are federal anti-discrimination laws in place that protect workers during the hiring process and during employment. In other words, your employer cannot fire you over your race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or your nationality. If your employer discriminated against you and it resulted in your termination, you might have been wrongfully fired.
Violation of public policy
If you have to take time off work due to jury duty, voting or to honor your commitment to serve in the National Guard, your employer cannot fire you. Moreover, you cannot be fired for taking time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Another circumstance that could result in wrongful termination is if your boss fired you as an act of retaliation. For example, if you filed a harassment complaint and you were subsequently fired, your employer could be in violation of employment laws. However, it is up to you to prove that your termination was retaliation for the complaint you filed.
If any of the above apply to you, you might be able to file a claim against your employer for wrongful termination. You may be able to sue and return to your old position or you could fight for a settlement of the damages you suffered.