If your employer terminates you for an illegal motivation, generally, the employer will try to hide that fact, or lie about it. That’s why proving unlawful employment discrimination can be difficult. Employers in California generally know that if they are caught unlawfully discriminating against their employees, it could cost them big money. Since employers who are violating the laws against unlawful discrimination generally know they will have to pay a lot of money if the get caught, they will generally go out of their way to cover-up it up. Many times employees who are terminated for unlawful reasons never know it, because their employer tells them that they were terminated for a false reason, or pretextual reason. A common example is, an employee takes medical leave that is protected by the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). When the employee returns from the medical leave their employer tells them that their position was eliminated while they were out on leave, so there is no job for them to return to, and the employer says to the employee that they are being laid off. However, the truth is that the employer hired someone to replace the employee while they were out on medical leave. Essentially, the employer lies to the employee that their job was eliminated, when actually they were replaced because they took medical leave. This is a classic lie told by employers who replace employees illegally, while they are taking protected medical leave. The good news is that an experienced attorney who handles employment law should know how to prove the employer is lying, and that an illegal termination occurred. Since employers generally hide their illegal conduct, it is important that if you have any reason to believe that you may have been a victim of unlawful employment discrimination in California, that you get in touch with an employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible so they can evaluate your case.
It is common for employees who are being unlawfully discriminated against by their employer not even know that something illegal is happening to them. However, most of the time the employee is aware something very “fishy” is going on. There are several red flags employees who may be getting unlawfully discriminated against should look for, which include:(1) The employer keeps asking the employee to sign warning notices or write-ups for things that either did not happen, or other employees are generally not disciplined for; (2) The employer terminates an employee but refuses to tell the employee the reason for the termination; (3) The employee is terminated for conduct that other employees are generally just warned about; (4) The statistics show employee may be getting treated differently for an unlawful reason (For example, the only employees who are getting laid off at a company are all over 40 years old, and no younger employees are getting laid off); (5) The employee hears from co-workers that their supervisor wants to get rid of them for vague, non-descript reasons, or sometime even an illegal reason; (6) The employer has a procedure for terminating an employee which does not get followed (most common is when employer requires an employee be warned before termination, but the employee is terminated without any prior warnings for minor performance issues); (7) The employer finds out that his supervisor is putting write-ups in their file without telling the employee; and/or (8) The employee knows their employer dislikes employees of their protected status (i.e. race, religion, national origin, gender, etc.) and the termination seems unfair or for reason that are made-up. These are just some of the red flags an experienced attorney should look for when determining whether unlawful discrimination may have occurred. Since it can be difficult to see the unlawful discrimination because of the cover-up, always consult with an attorney about any termination that seems “fishy”, or pretextual, so they can evaluate it. If you feel that your rights as an employee may have been violated, then you need to immediately find an attorney to consult with. Furthermore, never consult with an attorney who does not have extensive experience litigating discrimination cases. Remember, there are too many attorneys who will take your money, and only give you bad advice in return. Try to find an employment law firm who provides free consultations for employees who may have been wrongfully terminated, unlawfully discriminated against or unlawfully harassed. Some of the best attorneys in California, who practice in the area of employment law, will talk to you for free, so shop around. Additionally, if you have a case most of the best employment law attorneys in the Los Aneles or Orange County area will take it on a contingency basis. That means the attorney will only get paid if he gets his client money for the case. Poor employment law attorneys cannot take cases on a contingency basis, because it would be unlikely that they could make any money. Remember, attorneys who get paid an hourly fee will make money regardless of whether their clients win or lose. Attorneys who work on a contingency basis, generally are only paid if they win for their client. Employment discrimination in California can be a complicated issue, so always try to find the best and most experienced attorney you can find. Having a bad attorney will likely cost you a lot of money because they will either ask you to settle your case for far less than your case is worth, or they may get your case dismissed for failing to work it up properly. Before you choose an attorney, it is a good idea to find out their qualifications and see what type of reputation they have. You can often find reviews about a lawyer on their website or from doing a general internet search. Some people will ask family or friends if they have a lawyer that they would recommend. Cost is often a factor for employees who have been terminated, so it is always a good idea to find out what type of fees will be required from you before you retain an attorney. Employment discrimination in California can be a very stressful situation for people. It is very common for people to suffer extreme emotional distress as a result of a wrongful termination. Being terminated for an unjust or illegal reason causes people a great deal of stress, anxiety and depression. Most people link their self-worth and identify to their job, so when it is unjustly taken from them it is a very traumatic and emotional experience. Always find the best attorney you can to help you through this traumatic event, and get you the money you deserve for the damage that is caused to your life.