Not all terminations are within the law’s boundaries. Although employers generally have a significant amount of leeway to terminate employees without notice or providing a reason for their decision, there are situations where it is illegal to terminate a worker.
In many cases where an employee is illegally terminated, the employee can seek compensation for his or her related damages through a wrongful termination claim. Sometimes, though, he or she must take another avenue to seek recourse for the firing. This could be because the worker was an independent contractor, rather than an employee.
Firing an employee because of his or her status in a protected class is illegal. Under federal law, an employee cannot be fired because of his or her:
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act also prohibits terminations due to:
Additionally, federal law prohibits employers from conducting mass layoffs without notifying workers at least 60 days in advance.
An employee cannot be terminated for engaging in certain protected activities, such as:
When an employee is terminated as a way to punish him or her for this type of action, the termination is not legal.
When an individual is contracted to perform a specific task for a specified period of time, he or she is generally hired as an independent contractor, rather than an employee. In certain cases, employees are also required to sign contracts.
When a worker signs an employment contract, he or she is subject to the contract’s terms. These can be more strict than the laws imposed on non-contracted workers, for both the employer and the hired worker. If an employer fails to act within their requirements according to the contract and this ends the worker’s employment, the worker can cite the premature end of the job in his or her breach of contract claim.
Additional ways to unlawfully terminate an employee include:
If you were unlawfully terminated from a position, you have the right to seek compensation for your financial damages and justice for yourself by working with an experienced employment lawyer to pursue a legal claim, which could be with the EEOC or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing depending on your case’s circumstances. Contact our team at Valiant Law today to schedule your initial consultation with us to learn more about your rights and determine how to proceed with your case.
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