Employment contracts and wrongful termination claims are critical aspects of employment law that affect both employers and employees. At PLBH, we are dedicated to helping individuals understand their rights and navigate these complex legal matters. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 for a legal consultation.

The Importance of Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are legally binding agreements between employers and employees that outline the terms and conditions of employment. These contracts are essential for setting clear expectations and protecting both parties.

Key Elements of Employment Contracts

  • Job Responsibilities: Detailed description of duties and responsibilities.
  • Compensation: Salary, bonuses, and benefits.
  • Duration of Employment: Specified term or at-will employment.
  • Termination Conditions: Grounds for termination and required notice.
  • Non-Compete and Confidentiality Clauses: Restrictions on working with competitors and handling sensitive information.

Types of Employment Contracts

There are several types of employment contracts, each serving different purposes and providing varying levels of protection.

  • At-Will Employment: Either party can terminate the employment relationship at any time without cause.
  • Fixed-Term Contracts: Employment for a specific period, with conditions for renewal or termination.
  • Implied Contracts: Based on employer and employee actions or statements, even without a written agreement.
  • Union Contracts: Collective bargaining agreements between employers and unions representing employees.

Understanding Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired in violation of legal protections or the terms outlined in an employment contract. It is essential to recognize what constitutes wrongful termination to take appropriate action.

Grounds for Wrongful Termination Claims

  • Breach of Contract: Termination that violates the terms of an employment contract.
  • Discrimination: Firing based on race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics.
  • Retaliation: Termination for reporting workplace violations or participating in legally protected activities.
  • Violation of Public Policy: Firing for reasons that violate public policy, such as refusing to engage in illegal activities.

Steps to Take if You Believe You Were Wrongfully Terminated

If you suspect that your termination was unlawful, it is crucial to take specific steps to protect your rights and build a strong case.

Review Your Employment Contract

Carefully review your employment contract to understand the terms and conditions related to termination. Identify any clauses that may have been violated.

Gather Evidence

Collect documentation related to your employment and termination, including emails, performance reviews, and any correspondence with your employer. Keep detailed records of any discriminatory or retaliatory behavior.

Report Internally

If possible, report the wrongful termination to your employer’s human resources department or higher management. This step can sometimes lead to an internal resolution.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult with an experienced employment lawyer to evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. At PLBH, we offer confidential consultations to help you understand your rights and options.

Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim

If internal reporting does not resolve the issue, you may need to file a claim with the appropriate government agency or take legal action.

Filing with the DFEH

  • Submit a Complaint: File online, by mail, or by phone.
  • Investigation Process: The DFEH will investigate your claim to determine if there is sufficient evidence.
  • Resolution Attempts: If evidence supports your claim, the DFEH may attempt to resolve the issue through mediation or legal action.

Filing with the EEOC

  • Submit a Charge: File a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
  • Investigation and Mediation: The EEOC will investigate and may offer mediation services.
  • Possible Legal Action: If necessary, the EEOC may pursue a lawsuit on your behalf.

Remedies for Wrongful Termination

Successful wrongful termination claims can result in various remedies designed to address the harm caused by the unlawful termination.

  • Reinstatement: You may be reinstated to your former position.
  • Financial Compensation: You may receive damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and other related losses.
  • Policy Changes: Employers may be required to implement new policies and training programs to prevent future violations.

Promoting Fair Employment Practices

Understanding employment contracts and wrongful termination claims is essential for fostering a fair and respectful workplace. At PLBH, we are committed to supporting employees in their fight against unlawful termination and ensuring that their rights are protected. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (800) 435-7542.