San Diego Wrongful Termination Attorney
Honest and Assertive Legal Advocacy with a Decade of Experience
The laws surrounding employment termination can be confusing for “at-will” employment states. When is a company allowed to or not allowed to terminate your employment relationship? The Law Offices of Devon K. Roepcke is here to assist San Diego employees who believe they have been fired for an unlawful reason, such as discrimination. We can take a detailed look at your situation and provide honest legal counsel to help you file a wrongful termination complaint or bring forward a lawsuit in state or federal court. If you are looking for a San Diego wrongful termination lawyer, reach out to the Law Offices of Devon K. Roepcke. We provide free consultations for all workers who feel they have been wrongfully terminated.
Contact the Law Offices of Devon K. Roepcke to learn more about your legal options in your wrongful termination situation.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
California is an “at-will” employment state. This means that a person can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice, unless they have an employment contract or employment agreement that states otherwise. It is therefore against the law to fire someone against the terms of the contract or for any reason that can be considered a violation of public policy.
For instance, an employee is unjustly fired in violation of public policy if their employer fired them because they refused to commit certain acts as part of their job duties that are known to be illegal. It is also wrongful termination if an employee has been fired due to their race or religion.
How to File a Case for Wrongful Termination
California law provides extensive protections for employees, especially for employees who believe they have been terminated on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or for whistleblowing. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you can take legal action by filing a formal complaint. The first step to filing a complaint for wrongful termination is determining the appropriate category to base your claim on.
Examples of grounds for your wrongful termination claim may be:
- Discriminatory behavior – Your employer fired you because of your race, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity
- Whistleblowing/retaliation – Your employer fired you for reporting their illegal activity
The second step is to decide which filing method best serves your needs.
You have the following three options for filing a complaint:
- File a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- The DFEH is a California state entity that helps employees resolve disputes with their employers or former employers. The DFEH has employees file pre-complaint inquiries online, which allow the DFEH to prescreen the merits of your case. If it deems your case does have merit, the DFEH will initiate a formal complaint. If the DFEH decides not to initiate a formal complaint, you may decide to file a lawsuit.
- File the complaint in State Court.
- You also have the option of filing a complaint in state court immediately, rather than going through the DFEH administrative process. However, you must first submit a request to obtain a “Right-To-Sue” letter from the DFEH, which, if approved, allows you to file your complaint in any State Court that has jurisdiction. The DFEH recommends working with an attorney if you wish to file a lawsuit in State Court.
- File the complaint in Federal Court.
- Federal law establishes the basis for all employment laws in the United States. States are allowed to provide more protections to employees by creating their own laws (i.e., California), but no state is allowed to make laws that would provide fewer protections. As a result, it is generally more beneficial to file your complaint in State Court. Nonetheless, sometimes it is appropriate to file in Federal Court if your case concerns federal laws.
The legal process for resolving a wrongful termination case can be complex, whether you seek legal remedy through a complaint with the DFEH or in a lawsuit. An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong case to pass through the DFEH, or they can help you determine whether to file in Federal Court or State Court, which is a tactical decision that varies from case to case based on the circumstances of your complaint and the specific laws that apply.
California wrongful termination laws are nuanced and may vary on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, many employers claim (often falsely) that because California is an at-will state, they are within their rights to fire an employee at any time for any reason. However, they have no right to fire someone for an illegal reason, and our wrongful termination attorney at the Law Offices of Devon K. Roepcke can assist you in determining whether you have a wrongful termination case on your hands.
Schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Devon K. Roepcke to get started on your wrongful termination case immediately.
Devon was extremely knowledgeable and helpful about employment law. He consulted with me about a potential case and was honest, thorough, and easy to talk to. I would definitely recommend him!- R.S.