Imagine that your boss made several comments about how only males should be managers. As a female manager, this is bothersome, but then it becomes even more so when your boss fires you and promotes a male employee to your position. You might know that your employer terminated you due to sex discrimination, and this should be fairly easy to prove in a wrongful termination claim, right?
Unfortunately, even if wrongful termination seems straightforward and obvious to you, proving a claim in court can be significantly more difficult than you might think. This is why it is essential to have the help of an experienced wrongful termination attorney if you think your former employer violated your rights.
Pretext from Employers
You can’t expect employers to openly and voluntarily admit to diwrongful termination. Not only is a company trying to avoid financial liability to former employees, as well as potential penalties imposed by the California or federal government. Further, wrongful termination allegations can ruin a company’s reputation. It can detract talent from wanting to work for the company.
For this reason, employers will deny firing anyone for a discriminatory or another unlawful reason. Instead, they will likely give another reason why the employee was terminated. For instance, in the above example, an employer will likely never admit that they fired you for being a woman and replaced you with a man for that specific reason. Instead, they might say:
- You were laid off out of business necessity
- Your job performance was not up to standards
- You had too many recent absences
When an employer cites these reasons – no matter how false they might be – it then becomes your responsibility to prove that the reasons were pretext and nothing more.
Proving Your Wrongful Termination Claim
Proving pretext to succeed on your wrongful termination claim can be complicated. You will need evidence to prove the employer’s reasons were false, such as:
- Showing that since they replaced you with another employee, eliminating your job was not a business necessity
- Proof of your productivity, client reviews, and performance reviews to show that your performance has not decreased
- Communications with your employer showing that your absences were all approved
- Testimony from other coworkers or other evidence that you were treated unfairly
- Testimony from others or communications that show your employer was discriminatory based on sex
Remember that you will be going up against a company – the one that fired you – so it is an uphill battle from the start. This can be intimidating, but you can succeed with the help of the right wrongful termination attorney.
An attorney can give you an objective opinion of what happened and whether you have a claim for wrongful termination. If so, a lawyer can help you build your case and challenge any pretext your employer might use to falsely justify your termination. If you believe that your firing was unlawful, do not wait to reach out to an experienced wrongful termination lawyer for a case evaluation.