Earlier this year, thousands of drivers became unemployed when ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber pulled service from Austin, Texas following a vote on new regulations. Fast forward to earlier this month – two drivers who lost their jobs filed class action lawsuits in California, citing the ridesharing organizations’ failure to adequately inform its workforce of service termination.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), employers with a workforce of 100 or more, who clock an average of 20 hours per week, are entitled to at least 60 days advanced notice of a significant closing or mass layoff.
However, there remains a legal hurdle – specifically whether or not the drivers in question should be considered employees versus independent contractors. Independent contractors are typically not granted the same protections of rights and/or benefits of official employees.
Wrongful Termination Cases
In the state of California, employment is typically classified as “at will”, which essentially means that employers have fairly broad discretion when it comes to terminating an individual’s employment. However, there are a number of exceptions to an employer’s discretion, especially in cases violating any of California’s employment laws.
When an employee is dismissed, fired or forced to resign in a situation that does not align with state or federal employment law, the termination may be considered wrongful termination.
This may include a number of situations, such as:
- The termination was the result of discrimination
- It is unlawful to fire an employee based on their age, race, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex/gender, medical condition or any other protected category.
- The termination was retaliation
- Employers are prohibited from firing employees after they have reported or complained of illegal conduct or some other wrongdoing in the workplace. This is also true in cases where employees stand up for their protected rights.
- The termination breaches an agreement or other contract
- Many situations involve an existing contract (oral or written) with an employer regarding terms of employment. If the termination violates any of these terms, it is likely wrongful termination.
- The termination violates your legal rights as an employee
- Employers are not able to terminate employment based on an employee exercising their rights as a worker, such as taking entitled time off from work to using allocated medical, family or service leave.
- The termination otherwise violates state or federal laws governing the workplace, such as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Wrongful Termination Attorneys in Los Angeles
If you believe you have been wrongfully let go from your job, it is important that you consult with a wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible. Only a qualified attorney can evaluate your case according to existing California state law, and recommend a course of action.
In Los Angeles and the surrounding communities in Southern California, the attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP are committed to representing those who have been unemployed due to the unlawful employment practices of a company or other entity. Our firm has a successful track record in handling these types of cases, and can provide the sound legal counsel you need as you work to achieve resolution.
To schedule a free initial consultation to help assess your wrongful termination case, contact the attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP at (310) 776-9534.