Legal Question in Employment Law in California

wrongful termination with proof from unemployment

I was wrongfully terminated from a previous employer almost a year ago. I was then denied unemployment. I fought the decision and won. I have 2 questions: 1) Can the written decision from the mediator who oversaw the case be used to bolster my case and 2) Can I still sue the company after almost 1 year?

Asked on 2/27/05, 5:07 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Christopher M. Brainard, Esq. C. M. Brainard & Associates - (310) 266-4115

Re: wrongful termination with proof from unemployment

Well assuming it was wrongful (because you havn't said why) I believe you should try to initiate suit before 1 year. I believe you can wait on the wrongful dicharge claim out to 2 years, but you will lose rights after 1 year -- i.e., other claims, etc. I don't think that mediator report will help you much unless it says that they fired wrongfully. If it says they fired you, that's about all its worth. If your case is worth a good amount because you had a good job and you are willing to front the start up costs of the case (around $3K) you can contact me and I'll look it over.

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Answered on 2/28/05, 9:55 pm
Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: wrongful termination with proof from unemployment

Just because an employer is angry and terminates the employment doesn't mean that one is wrongfully terminated under the law. In California, in summary, a person is wrongfully terminated if for discriminatory reasons based upon sex, gender, disability, medical condition, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation or sexual identity, among others. A person may also be wrongfully terminated if, in retaliation, he/she blew the whistle to authorities on illegal activities by the company or a supervisor. Finally, a person may be wrongfully terminated if a written, oral, or implied employment contract were breached.

If you were terminated because of discrimination, you should file a claim with the CA Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing immediately, before the 1 year is up. That will stop the clock. You then will have 1 year from the date the right-to-sue letter is issued. However, any other claims might then be time-barred, so my colleague's advice is a good suggestion.

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Answered on 2/28/05, 10:15 pm
Alden Knisbacher knisbacher law offices

Re: wrongful termination with proof from unemployment

Wrongful termination in violation of public policy has a two year statute. Public Policy is found in any law or regulation -- federal or state. If you were fired for complaining about an unsafe workplace, for complaining about discrimination, for complaints about illegal activities, for being a witness to an investigation, etc. you will likely have a claim for wrongful termination -- and two years to sue. If you can show that there were policies that the employer used to terminate people which required that the employer only fire for cause, or only after progressive discipline was used -- and the employer did not do so -- you may have a claim for breach of contract. You may also have other claims such as defamation of character -- if there was defamation which continued after you were fired (those claims are subject to a one year statute of limitations. . . ) Finally, if you sue for discrimination based on your race, you may have up to four years to file suit in federal court.

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Answered on 2/28/05, 10:40 pm
Michael Kirschbaum Law Offices of Michael R. Kirschbaum

Re: wrongful termination with proof from unemployment

In addressing your first question, the decision rendered by the administrative law judge (he/she is not a mediator) is not admissable in any lawsuit you may bring against the employer.

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Answered on 3/01/05, 12:42 pm

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