Los Angeles COVID-19 Wrongful Termination Attorney
he coronavirus pandemic has brought us all into unprecedented times. The 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. The struggling economy, unfortunately, left many employers no 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, it is natural that 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 or not it falls in line with California’s labor laws. Hiring one of our talented employment attorneys will be crucial in helping you understand whether or not 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 that involves an employee being unfairly targeted for subjective issues that do not relate 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, here are some 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
There are many more situations that 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.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Following the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passing, California employees’ rights have been extended to protect against wrongful termination concerning the coronavirus pandemic. If an employee or family member is infected with the coronavirus, this act requires certain employers to provide those employees with paid sick leave and extended medical or family leave.
Under the FFCRA, the following apply:
- If the employee is ill, they should receive up to two weeks of paid sick leave at their regular rate of pay
- If the employee must care for a sick loved one, they should receive up to two weeks paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay
- For an affected employee, they should receive up to ten weeks of additional paid family and medical leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay
If you approach your employer about your rights under the FFCRA and they choose to terminate your employment, you may have grounds to pursue a wrongful termination case with the help of a Los Angeles employment lawyer.
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 or not 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.