Wrongful Termination

Oakland Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Defending Clients Facing Wrongful Termination in California

California is an “at-will employment” state, which means that any employee can be terminated without the employer having to provide a reason. This can make it difficult to prove that your termination was wrongful.

There are, however, numerous exceptions to the “at-will” employment doctrine that give employees significant rights. Some of these exceptions include:

  • Employees who are discriminated against because of gender, age, race, religion, national origin, pregnancy, or disability.
  • Employees who are subjected to sexual or other types of harassment.
  • Employees who are retaliated against for opposing illegal practices of their employer.
  • Employees who are terminated because they take FMLA leave.
  • Employees who are not being paid proper wages and overtime.

Do you believe you may have been let go from your job illegally? Discuss your case with the Oakland wrongful termination lawyer at Benton Employment Law as soon as possible. Founding attorney Chambord Benton-Hayes is a highly accomplished attorney who is passionate about restoring the rights of her clients and ensuring California workers are treated fairly. Our staff will do everything we can to defend your legal rights and seek the just resolution you are entitled to.

The above categories are some scenarios in which employees have special legal rights, but there are many other protected categories as well. Pursue the compensation you deserve, call (510) 650-0250 or contact Benton Employment Law online to learn more about your options during a free consultation.

The Dos and Don’ts of Wrongful Termination

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, be sure to do the following:

  • Get reference letters from your supervisors.
  • Ask your employer to give you a written explanation for your termination.
  • Return all company property including all company documents.
  • Seek advice from a wrongful termination lawyer if you have any questions about whether or not your termination gives rise to a legal claim.
  • Review your non-compete agreement, if any, and consult with an employment attorney about its enforceability if this is an issue for you.
  • Write down the names and contact information of other company employees who are valuable contacts or who, if you are considering legal action, may be witnesses in your case or have similar legal claims.
  • Be careful with respect to any verbal or written statements you make to company employees and remember those statements may later be used against you.

If you were wrongfully terminated, DO NOT:

  • Openly express your anger or make any threats.
  • Sign a release of claims unless you are certain that you do not want to pursue legal action. Consult an employment lawyer first if possible.
  • Assume that you won’t be able to negotiate better terms for your severance arrangement. If possible, seek the assistance of an employment lawyer to negotiate your severance.
  • Say or do anything that provides your employer with “cause” for your termination. Even though you may have already been given notice of your termination, continue to respect all company rules.
  • Take any company documents that are not yours, even if they’re needed to “prove your case.”
  • Send any written complaint or grievance letters to company officers, human resources (HR), or managers without first consulting an employment lawyer for advice.
  • Write any flattering letters to your boss or to the company if you are considering taking legal action.

Contact Benton Employment Law for a free consultation and let us help you secure the fair treatment and compensation you deserve.

Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim in California

If you have not received all the back wages and commissions due you, make a formal written demand on the company including your name and address where the wages and commission may be sent to you. If you still do not receive anything, see an employment attorney as soon as possible.

If you think you may have been discriminated against with regard to your termination on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, national origin, or disability, you may need to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of your first notice concerning your termination. While you can file a charge without legal representation, you should seek counsel to help you in this process.

While it may seem impossible to challenge your former employer for letting you go, both state and federal laws exist to protect you from termination under certain, “wrongful” circumstances. Benton Employment Law is prepared to zealously advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

How Do I Prove Wrongful Termination?

Proving wrongful termination in California requires gathering evidence and building a strong legal case. Here are some important steps to consider:

Consult with an experienced employment lawyer: It's crucial to seek guidance from a knowledgeable employment lawyer at Benton Employment Law. We can evaluate the details of your situation, assess the strength of your case, and provide tailored advice.

  • Document the circumstances: Collect and preserve any evidence related to your termination. This may include emails, performance evaluations, disciplinary records, witness statements, or any other relevant documents that support your claim.
  • Identify unlawful motives: Wrongful termination claims often involve proving that your termination was based on unlawful motives, such as discrimination, retaliation, or a violation of public policy. Gather any evidence that suggests discriminatory actions, retaliation for whistleblowing, or a violation of your rights.
  • Review employment contracts and company policies: Examine any employment contracts, agreements, or employee handbooks to determine if the termination violated any terms or provisions outlined in these documents.
  • Gather witness testimonies: If there were witnesses to your termination or the events leading up to it, their testimonies can strengthen your case. Collect statements from coworkers, supervisors, or anyone else who can provide insight into the circumstances surrounding your termination.
  • Seek expert opinions: In some cases, expert opinions may be necessary to support your claim. This could involve consulting industry experts, medical professionals, or other specialists who can provide insights relevant to your case.
  • File a complaint with relevant agencies: Depending on the nature of the wrongful termination, you may need to file a complaint with government agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before pursuing legal action.

By partnering with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer, such as our team at Benton Employment Law, you can benefit from a free case evaluation where we will assess the details of your situation and provide guidance on the best course of action. With our years of experience, we can offer strategic advice, negotiate on your behalf, or represent you in litigation if necessary.

We represent clients in Oakland and throughout Northern California. Contact Benton Employment Law at (510) 650-0250 to book your free case evaluation.

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Our Proven Success

  • Discrimination settlement.

    Achieved settlement on contentious matter on behalf of vehicle company and employee alleging racial and disability discrimination related to medical marijuana.

  • Employment Law Training

    Trained thousands of executives, managers, doctors, attorneys, and employees on ADA compliance, anti-harassment and discrimination, and other labor and employment law issues.

  • Settlement for Multi-national Coffeehouse Chain.

    Achieved settlement on contentious matter on behalf of multinational chain of coffeehouses and an employee alleging disability discrimination.

  • Settlement with EEOC.

    Achieved settlement on a contentious matter with the EEOC and Plaintiff-intervenor alleging disability discrimination on behalf of a healthcare organization.

  • Technology company settlement.

    Achieved settlement on a contentious matter on behalf of a technology company and a former executive.

  • United States District Court, N.D. Cal

    Successfully compelled enforcement of arbitration agreement on behalf of multinational chain of coffeehouses and an employee alleging disability discrimination.

  • Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

    Obtained summary adjudication on behalf of insurance company on action alleging disability discrimination, racial discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process and punitive damages.

  • United States District Court, E.D. Cal.

    Obtained partial summary judgment on action alleging failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, disability discrimination, age discrimination, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and punitive damages for a technology company. Likewise, opposed Plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment that was denied.

  • Exempt status from overtime wages for national retailer

    Defended manager exempt status from overtime wages for national retailer obtaining a “take nothing” Order, Decision, and Award from the DLSE.

  • Achieved settlement disability discrimination case.