Were you recently fired from a job for filing a complaint, objecting to inappropriate or harassing conduct or simply because a manager discriminated against you due to your race, gender or sex, religion, pregnancy status, disability or cultural origin? Do you believe that you were fired in retaliation for your unwillingness to put up with adverse or injurious employment conditions? If so, you may have a legal claim for wrongful termination. However, proving that you have a legitimate claim may involve taking the right steps in a timely manner.
The general process for filing a wrongful termination involves filing a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or an equivalent state agency in a timely manner, usually within 180 days from the date of your employment termination. The EEOC will notify your employer within 10 days of the filing of a complaint lodged by a former employee. EEOC agents may then investigate your complaint to determine whether it is valid and possibly try to reach a voluntary settlement with your employer. Representatives may also issue you a Right-to-Sue notice which you need to obtain before filing a formal lawsuit. Only then can your case proceed assuming there are no other barriers to a suit such as a pre-employment agreement that you may have made with your former employer to arbitrate. Keep in mind that if you miss this 180-day filing deadline, you may waive your ability and right to sue your employer in a court of law.
In truth, many obstacles stand in the way to a successful outcome in a wrongful termination suit. Some barriers are the difficulty in proving that your employer did not have a legitimate business reason for terminating your employment and was instead motivated by an illegitimate and illegal non-business purpose. A lawyer may be able to help you overcome the legal hurdles you face if your case proceeds. Farrise Law Firm’s highly experienced legal team has met these challenges and achieved successful results for our clients.
In one such case, Farrise Law Firm lawyers went to trial case and a California jury awarded a shipyard supervisor $2.17 million in compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful termination from employment as a Facilities Superintendent at BAE Systems shipyard (see Radford v. BAE Systems). In that case, the highly decorated Air Force veteran described as “exceptional” and “a Manager’s dream” by his supervisor was fired without notice or explanation in a workplace where supervisors and managers regularly referred to African American employees using racial epithets. Testimony revealed that BAE Systems promoted a culture of inequality and promoted non-black employees who had violated policy and law. The case proceeded to trial and resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff which defendant appealed.