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Jan 01

Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me Under False Accusations in California?

If you’ve been terminated, it’s natural to have some feelings of resentment and anger toward your employer. Even if you knew termination was likely or believed that you deserved to be fired, the process awakens a natural anger and frustration in many people. If you’ve been fired for reasons that are unfair or illegal, these negative emotions often intensify.

Though most employment terminations are perfectly legal, some are not. If you’ve been illegally terminated, it’s important to know that you have the right to fight for your income to support your family and maintain your lifestyle.

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in California?

Wrongful termination is clearly defined under California law. You cannot be terminated because of:

  • Race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other protected status
  • Pregnancy
  • Whistleblowing
  • Exercising your rights under the Fair Housing and Employment Act
  • Exercising your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • False accusations or rumors

Though your employer likely won’t directly state that they’re firing you for one of the above reasons, you can often tell if one of these situations contributed to your termination. If so, it is essential to investigate the circumstances of your termination and prove the employer acted illegally.

If your employer fires you based on false accusations, do the following:

  1. Remain calm. Though it’s likely a scary and frustrating situation, it’s important to refrain from yelling, cursing, or engaging in other unprofessional behavior that may justify your termination.
  2. Ask your employer where they received their information. Ask to see any proof that they are able to show you, and request copies if evidence is in written form.
  3. Listen to their reasoning and allow them to speak freely about the situation.
  4. Tell them you are very concerned about the situation because you believe the information is not accurate.
  5. Calmly give your side of the story.
  6. If they move forward with the termination, refrain from signing any document acknowledging your termination. Tell the employer you feel that their actions are not warranted and that you’d like to speak to your attorney before proceeding.
  7. Call your attorney.

If you have already been terminated, gather any documentation you have from the process. An attorney may still be able to help you secure other evidence of a false accusation.

How Do You Tell If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?

As you may have suspected, there isn’t one surefire way to create a wrongful termination case.  If you are fired following a personal disclosure, such as a disclosure of pregnancy, sexual orientation, or something similar, you should explore creating a case. If your termination feels sudden or for no reason at all, it is worth investigating whether you were wrongfully terminated.

If you are terminated, ask your employer for copies of your file. This should include any written warnings or records of employee violations that have occurred during your employment. Your file can help your attorney to determine if the termination was long coming or if it seems to have been triggered by an event. Most negative actions warrant a formal warning before termination. If nothing major has happened recently, you have a good reason to be suspicious.

What Kind of Awards Can People Expect From Wrongful Termination Lawsuits in California?

It is difficult to pinpoint how much you will receive if you win a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. Every case is different, and your settlement will depend upon many different factors. The amount of damage done to your livelihood and whether the case is settled in or outside of court, for example, can affect the settlement amount.

However, it’s worth noting that the average wrongful termination settlement in California is about $40,000. Though this may seem like a great deal of money, it’s important to remember that you may need to use this sum to stand in for your regular wages. You may not get your job back, and you may not even want your old job back after the process is finished. Many people must find new employment after their case settles.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination in California?

It’s important to note that there is a fairly brief statute of limitations on wrongful termination and false accusation cases, depending on the type of case you have. Many times, you have 2-3 years to file. However, some situations require you to file within 180 days. If you miss this window, you cannot take legal action against your former employer.

The best way to avoid missing out on a settlement is to take action right away, no matter the circumstances of your case. If you believe your termination was unlawful, contact an attorney as soon as you are fired or as soon as you receive information that indicates an illegal act on the part of your employer. The court system can move slowly, and it’s important to act as soon as possible.

Contact a Workplace Rights Attorney

The skilled attorneys at Clark Employment Law, APC, have been defending employee rights for many years. No matter the circumstances that led to your termination, we can help you assess your rights and pursue them in court. For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, please contact our offices online .

FAQs

Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me Under False Accusations?

Yes, you can sue an employer for firing you under false accusations. False accusations can cause irreparable damage to an employee’s career, and it’s an employer’s job to ensure that they have the correct information before beginning termination procedures. You can take legal action if your employer fired you for something you didn’t do. This is especially true if the accusation is made public. In this case, it may have damaged your reputation in your field or among your peers.

What Can You Do If Your Employer Makes False Accusations?

You can file a lawsuit if your employer makes false accusations. Unfortunately, employees are sometimes fired based on false information, rumors, false accusations, or assumptions. These are extremely difficult situations because while the reason for termination is often legally valid, it simply isn’t true. The task becomes proving that the information that your employer has is false and that you shouldn’t be punished with termination.

What Is Considered Wrongful Termination in California?

Wrongful termination is being fired based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other protected status. Employers won’t usually state that one of these reasons factors into your termination; however, you will likely know if one of these issues has played a part. If you believe it has, talk with an attorney.

How Much Is a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Worth in California?

The average wrongful termination settlement in California is about $40,000. Though this may seem like a great deal of money, it’s important to remember that you may need to use this sum to stand in for your regular wages. You may not get your job back, and you may not even want your old job back after the process is finished. Many people must find new employment after their case settles.

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