When a resident of California loses his or her job, he or she will likely experience a wide range of emotions. These emotions may include anger, confusion, panic, the desire to get revenge by filing a lawsuit and much more. However, California is an employment at will state. Therefore, employers are able to end the employment of any of their employees who don't have written contracts for almost any reason, provided it is not illegal.
If an employee is fired for an illegal reason, then the termination may be wrongful and he or she may be entitled to compensation. However, before filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination, there are some steps that an employee should take immediately after losing his or her job.
First, everyone in such a situation should ensure that they are collecting all their final compensation from their employer. All employees are entitled to a final paycheck and this paycheck must be issued within a certain amount of time. This time frame varies by state, but all employees should ensure they are receiving this pay. In addition, an employee that was fired or laid off, may be able to recover severance pay. This is also something to check into with their former employer.
When employees lose their jobs they are often able to file for unemployment pay. They may also want to consider evaluating their options for continuing their health care coverage. Other necessary steps may include updating their resume, looking for a part-time job and tracking job search expenses so they can be deducted on a tax return.
In addition to these steps, it is also important for an employee to evaluate whether the termination was wrongful. If you have a feeling that you were fired for an illegal reason, it is important that you consider seeking out an attorney that is experienced in this area of law. An attorney will be able to analyze the situation and may help you understand if you have a case for wrongful termination. If you do, you may be able to recover additional compensation for the hardship caused by the termination.
Source: FindLaw, "Ten Ways to Handle Losing a Job," accessed on Sep. 1, 2014