In California, wrongful termination settlements are reached when employers decide to pay to settle the alleged damages sustained by employees due to wrongful firings and dismissals.
If you have been terminated from your job in California, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim in which an attorney can help you file an action against your employer in order to receive monetary compensation, including lost wages and, under certain circumstances, punitive damages.
Types of Wrongful Termination Settlements in California
California is considered an “at will” employment state. Employees in an at will employment state can be terminated at almost any time, for almost any reason, without legal redress from their ex-employers. There are however certain circumstances under which an employee cannot be fired in California. Examples of reasons for which you cannot be terminated include:
- Discrimination (including disability discrimination)
- Exerting your rights under wage and hour laws
- Taking certain types of leave
- Retaliation for making protected claims
An employer cannot fire you for a discriminatory reason such as because of your disability, age, race, religion, sex, national origin or citizenship status or in retaliation for you reporting discriminatory behavior in the workplace. Despite being an at will employment state, in California your employer may have established a written, oral or implied contract of employment that protects you from arbitrary termination.
Your employer is also prohibited from firing you because you exerted your rights under state or federal wage and hour laws, such as your right to be paid minimum wage or have meal and rest breaks. There are also certain types of leave you are entitled to take that cannot result in termination; these include leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, jury duty, pregnancy disability leave or military duty leave.
There are other state-protected circumstances that protect you from termination, such as filing for worker’s compensation, whistleblowing or reporting workplace safety issues.
Examples of Large Settlements
If a California employer is successfully sued for wrongful termination, the resulting settlement can include substantial monetary compensation. Some examples of recent successful wrongful termination lawsuits that resulted in large settlements are:
- Two plaintiffs were awarded $2.3 million for wrongful termination on the basis of gender and race discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $990,000.00 for wrongful termination on the basis of disability discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $538,000.00 for wrongful termination and pregnancy discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $318,637.97 for wrongful termination on the basis of racial discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $321,982.00 for wrongful termination during maternity leave;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $760,000.00 for being wrongfully terminated after reporting sexual harassment;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $832,500.00 for wrongful termination after requesting pregnancy leave;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $1,686,500.00 for wrongful termination on the basis of disability discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $750,000.00 for wrongful termination due to religious discrimination;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $750,000.00 for wrongful termination in retaliation for whistleblowing;
- A single plaintiff was awarded $250,000 for wrongful termination based on gender harassment and discrimination.
How to Obtain a Settlement in California
If you or your loved one were fired unlawfully in California, you may be able to obtain compensation for the damages you’ve been forced to endure as a result. Our experienced wrongful termination attorneys in California provide free consultations for wrongful termination cases in California and provide their services on contingency, meaning you don’t pay unless your case is won. Call 949-724-9200 today to get help.