Retaliatory Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles

"Retaliation is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Employers who engage in unlawful retaliation do grave damage, not only to the employees whom they victimize, but also to the general notion that employers should be guided in the operation of their businesses by ideals of fairness and responsible behavior. They give a bad name to employers everywhere."
                             --- James W. Johnston, Esq.


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Under California law, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee because he or she has exercised a legal right.  This is true even if the worker is an "at-will " employee.  If you believed you have been terminated in retaliation for reporting illegal conduct, safety complaints or other reasons that have been recognized as violating public policy, you should contact an employment lawyer without delay. 

Public Policy Violations
At-will employees generally can be terminated with or without cause.  However, California courts have recognized an exception to this rule in situations where an employee is terminated for an unlawful reason or for a purpose that violates a fundamental public policy.  For example, it is wrongful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who reports, or threatens to report, an employer's unlawful activity to appropriate authorities.  It is also wrongful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who makes safety complaints, or protests unlawful discrimination at the work place, or files a charge of unlawful discrimination.  Retaliating against an employee who demands overtime pay or other wages is another yet example of wrongful retaliation, and there are many others.  Again, an employee who has been discharged or demoted as the result of this type of retaliation may bring a lawsuit against the employer even if the employee is an at-will employee. 


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25 Years Experience
Mr. Johnston has been a lawyer for more than 25 years, and is fully qualified to handle your retaliation claim.  If you believe you have been the victim of retaliatory termination or demotion, we invite you to contact our office and make an appointment to speak with attorney Johnston about your case.  

Retaliation Resources

EEOC - Employer Retaliation


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Retaliation - Fair Employment and Housing Act

Retaliating against any person for opposing any practices forbidden by the FEHA, or filing a complaint, testifying or assisting in any proceeding under the FEHA, is unlawful, and even an at-will employee may bring a legal action in this situation.  

Sample California Superior Court Retaliatory Termination Complaint


Selected Retaliatory Termination Cases

Franklin v. The Monadnock Company (2007) California Court of Appeals 2nd District, Division 3.  In this case the employee alleged he was terminated in retaliation for internally reporting workplace violence.  The defendant employer brought a demurrer which was sustained by the trial court resulting in the case being dismissed. 

: The appellate court reversed the trial court's dismissal of plaintiff's lawsuit, holding that the employee had stated a valid cause of action for wrongful termination in retaliation for making complaints related to workplace safety.  The court also noted that internal complaints of illegal conduct can support a wrongful termination claim for public policy reasons. 


The above information is provided as a courtesy of The Johnston Law Firm, and constitutes only a brief summary of some general employment law, discrimination issues and related legal rights under California law.  As such it does not constitute legal advice, and you should contact an attorney to discuss any specific employment issue you may have.  For further questions, please contact our  office on the forms provided.

515 S. Flower Street, 36th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071
(213) 291-6977

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