Wrongful Termination Lawsuits and Cases
Wrongful termination lawsuits and other cases of discrimination, whistleblowing, retaliation and harassment face many challenges in the recent business climate. Often, employers, usually large employers and large corporations, employ arbitration clauses which require an employee to pursue arbitrations instead of lawsuits. Our firm never recommends arbitrations, because they are far more expensive and the arbitration system is skewed towards employers. In this regard, plaintiffs pay one filing fee (between $370 and $1,000) for the complaint, and $60 for each motion heard. The fees are the same even if the court hears and decides ten motions or tries the case for four weeks (other than jury fees). But in private arbitration, the arbitrator is paid by the hour, so an hour hearing costs an hour of fees, usually at least $450/hour.
In regards to wrongful termination lawsuits and cases, California has some protections for those forced to arbitrate their claims. For example, an employer has to pay the costs of the arbitrator in employment disputes, otherwise the arbitration agreement or arbitration clause in an employment agreement can be deemed unenforceable. However, the conservative US Supreme Court has validated the mandatory arbitration of claims and so many of these claims must go to private arbitration. It is also the firm’s experience that since the arbitrator is a human being, and humans tend to be more favorable to the person paying them (often repeatedly over many arbitrations), bias has the potential to skew the results.
Our firm has successfully had multiple arbitration agreements or clauses deemed unenforceable, but the fact is that an employer with a careful arbitration clause or agreement can usually force the client into a private arbitration.
Regarding wrongful termination lawsuits, California, like most other states, is an “at will” state. This means that an employer can terminate you for any reason, or no reason at all. However, there are two broad exceptions:
You have a written contract with your employer that requires that there be “good cause” for your termination, but there was not good cause (or the “good cause” reason stated by the employer was “pretextual”, i.e., false) for the termination; or
The reason for the termination is illegal. That, of course, refers to all of the above categories – discrimination, harassment, retaliation or whistleblowing of all the types mentioned above.
In wrongful termination lawsuits, challenges arise in many of these cases. In cases where an employee is an unskilled worker, the employer often can pressure fellow employees into keeping quiet, or even falsifying the events for the employer’s benefit. In cases where the employee is a skilled worker, sometimes the employer will threaten to counter-sue the employee for things like “misappropriation of trade secrets”.
In regards to our experience with wrongful termination lawsuits, our firm took over for another law firm in a case involving a preemptive lawsuit against a tech employee, for “misappropriation of trade secrets” and “unfair competition”, because the employee had a large wage and hour claim. The employer had sued the employee for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The firm pursued an investigation in Korea, and in the United States. The employee recovered a substantial sum of lost wages and contract damages; and the employer dropped its lawsuit.
If you have a case and possible lawsuit similar to these, contact Ken Ralidis at 213.251.5480 today to see how he can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have often obtained results for our clients that are 10-25 times what the initial offer was. Don’t just settle for any attorney that may not have the experience, or a big law firm that doesn’t have the time or resources for a case like yours. Reach out to Ken Ralidis for his experience and the personal attention he offers. We can help you win your case!