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How Long You Have to File for Wrongful Termination in California

Posted on June 12, 2024 in Personal injury,Wrongful Termination

Being terminated from a position is a challenging life experience. Particularly if it was for unfair or illegal reasons. If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, you would benefit from seeking the guidance of a San Diego wrongful termination attorney with Walker Law. California is considered an at-will state, which means, except for a contract, either party can terminate the employment agreement for any legal reason, however that doesn’t mean any reason or without reason. When you are terminated for illegal reasons, however, you may be entitled to compensation.

California Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

Any time you consider a lawsuit, the statute of limitations for your type of lawsuit should be one of the first things you consider. In California, the statute of limitations for a lawsuit can vary from two to four years, depending on the specific reason for termination. This variation in timeline is one of the many reasons you can benefit from speaking with a lawyer. If you go beyond the statute of limitations, you may waive your right to a lawsuit, even if you would have otherwise won. Some of the types of lawsuits filed and their statute of limitations can be found below:

  • Personal Injury: Two years from the date of injury or one year if the injury was not immediately discovered. This can include physical or emotional injury or distress from someone’s actions.
  • Breach of written contract: Four years from the date the contract was broken
  • Claim against a government agency: six months to one year from the date of the incident, depending on the specifics of the situation

When considering the statute of limitations, the crucial part is that the lawsuit must be filed within that time. In many cases, you, your attorney, and your prior employer may prefer to handle the situation out of a courtroom to avoid the unpredictability of a trial and jury. It is beneficial to your case to consider the pre-trial negotiations to avoid a trial’s added unpredictability and expense. This is another reason to contact an attorney immediately after you suspect your termination was unlawful.

Determining Your Termination was Unlawful

To file a lawsuit in the appropriate amount of time, you must understand what it means to be wrongfully terminated. In many wrongful termination cases, the cause of the lawsuit is due to the violation of laws that prohibit retaliation and discrimination. Some of the many more specific causes of these violations include:

  • Violation of public policy: termination for refusing to do something illegal or performing a legal obligation, among other things
  • Employer retaliation: retaliation for filing a complaint with Human Resources, other governing agency, or other acts
  • Discrimination

There is a federal standard against employment discrimination, but California has set state standards that are more protective of tenants and workers. Violating the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may provide support for a wrongful termination case. FEHA protects against discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, medical status, and other protected categories.

Address Wrongful Termination Quickly

Wrongful termination cases may become complicated, and it is difficult to recover evidence of wrongdoing on the employer’s part. Suppose you can retain an attorney to help with your case immediately. In that case, they can determine the appropriate steps to gather and preserve evidence quickly and provide you with the best chance to recover the highest possible compensation for your case, which may include back pay, damages for distress, and attorney’s fees. You are entitled to be treated legally and fairly by your employer and seek justice if that does not happen.

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