Los Angeles COVID-19 Wrongful Termination Attorney
he coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every aspect of society. The U.S. economy has taken substantial hits since the COVID-19 spread, causing many businesses to close and people to remain at home. Unfortunately, the struggling economy has left numerous employers without anyno choice but to let many employees go. It has been reported that 20.6 million American workers not deemed “essential workers” were left unemployed due to the pandemic. However, the same laws that protect employees from wrongful termination are still in place in California despite the pandemic.
Blackstone Law is a leading Los Angeles employment law firm with extensive experience handling wrongful termination cases. If you were left unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be feeling lost and unsure of what your next steps should be. However, it is vital you closely examine the reasoning behind your termination to understand whether it falls in line with California’s labor laws. Hiring one of our talented employment attorneys will be crucial in helping you understand whether your termination was legal under California law.
What is Wrongful Termination?
For the most part, many employer-employee contracts are at-will. In other words, either party has the right to terminate a working relationship, with or without cause, for any reason, whether or not they choose to provide notice. While an at-will contract provides lenient terms for employers when deciding to terminate an employee, it can be easy for an employer to believe that they can legally terminate an employee for any reason they like. This is certainly not the case.
Wrongful termination may apply to any situation involving an employee being unfairly targeted for subjective issues unrelated to protected status. Some examples of a situation that could lead to wrongful termination are:
- Complaining about a poor performance review
- Reporting non-discriminatory workplace bullying
- Engaging in any conduct that results in termination while other employees who have done the same have not been terminated
As long as the termination does not involve an employee’s protected status, such as gender or religion, then the termination may remain wrongful but not unlawful.
Wrongful Termination During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Regardless of the global situation, Americans are still protected by the labor laws in place before the pandemic began. If you are unsure if your termination may have been wrongful in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, consider the following examples:
- An employee fired for having a positive COVID-19 test or related disability
- An employee fired for reporting that a colleague failed to practice social distancing
- An employee targeted for reporting another for their failure to practice new health and safety protocols at work, such as wearing a mask
Many more situations may have led to wrongful termination during the pandemic. If you believe COVID-19 has caused your employer to terminate you wrongfully, our wrongful termination lawyers have the experience needed to help you build your case.
Government Support Enacted during the Pandemic Has Expired
In 2020, employees depended on the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to protect them against wrongful termination in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. This Act required certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and extended medical or family leave if they or a family member were infected with the coronavirus.
After the FFCRA expired at the end of 2020, state and local lawmakers stepped in to fill the void it left behind. Under Senate Bill No. 95, California employers had to provide supplemental paid sick leave to their employees. Employees who could not work in person or from home for COVID-related reasons were eligible for leave. Whether they had to care for a family member with COVID or deal with the symptoms of the vaccine, the employee could utilize that leave to cover their time off.
SB 95 was not extended and expired on September 30, 2021. Now, workers in California must return to relying on pre-existing labor laws to protect them. Despite the loss of additional government support, an adept wrongful termination attorney can still protect your rights effectively by applying pre-existing labor laws.
Consult with California Wrongful Termination Lawyers
COVID-19 has left many people fearful and unsure of what the future will hold. For millions of Americans, uncertainty about their careers is prevalent. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated during the pandemic, consulting with an employment lawyer is crucial to helping you understand California’s labor laws and whether you were terminated legally.
Blackstone Law is equipped with award-winning employment lawyers who are immensely knowledgeable of the comprehensive laws in California. Proudly serving clients in the Los Angeles area, our goal is to treat our clients like family, operating to build trust and honesty. To set up a free case consultation, contact us here or call (310) 956-4054.