California, Texas and North Carolina are at-will employment states, which means, under most circumstances, an employee can quit or be terminated without cause and without notice. However, an employer is banned from terminating an employee because of his or her membership in a protected class or in violation of whistleblower laws. The employer and employee may also negotiate an employment contract that gives the employee security against termination without cause.
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a well-known national litigation law firm with offices in California, Texas, North Carolina and Puerto Rico. Our firm has almost 25 years of experience litigating wrongful termination claims involving discrimination, whistleblower violations and breach of employment contract.
To accommodate the specific needs of our clients, our firm arranges flexible payment plans. Our contingency fee plan allows clients to wait to pay lawyers’ fees until we recover damages. If there is no recovery, there are no fees. Under our hourly-fee plan, the client pays for our time directly.
The Civil Rights Act expressly forbids making adverse employment decisions based upon a person’s protected class, including:
- National origin
Case law and certain state laws, expand those protections for people based upon AIDS/HIV status, marital status, medical condition, military status, political activities, sexual orientation and victims of domestic violence.
The employee is also protected from termination if he or she complains about discrimination, files a claim or participates in an investigation. This does not mean he or she cannot be fired for valid reason, just that he or she cannot be fired for whistleblowing.
Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies recognize that employees are often the best resource of information about their employer’s unlawful conduct. And yet, an employee might not be willing to speak up if they fear losing their job. Whistleblower protections are attached to several laws to allow employees to report such issues as environmental dumping, worksite hazards, employment discrimination, fraud and other criminal activities.
Breach of Contract
Employers and employees can contractually agree to the terms of employment, including length of a job, the causes of termination and severance packages. The contractual terms supersede the at-will laws. In these cases, wrongful termination claims may be brought under contract law for specific performance or monetary damages.
Relief for Wrongful Termination
If beneficial to our client, our lawyers may seek job reinstatement. We may also seek the wages our client would have earned since being fired and punitive damages. In each case, we seek to make our client whole.
Recover Damages for Wrongful Firing
To pursue available relief after wrongful termination, schedule a claims consultation with Schneider Wallace in our California, Texas, North Carolina or Puerto Rico offices. Our lawyers are experienced in state and federal administrative proceedings and trials and represent plaintiffs in complex litigation. We also advise employers on issues related to termination rights.