Sherman Law Group
Beverly Hills Law Firm
Areas & Topics

Beverly Hills Legal Blog

Was your job termination legal?

Losing your job is tough. Millions of people annually receive so-called pink slips, and for many, this is a devastating blow. You may have suffered this setback recently. Whether it came out of the blue or was something you have been anticipating for a while, you may be having a difficult time dealing with the embarrassment and anxiety of having to look for work.

You may even be feeling angry, especially if you liked the job and had worked hard to get to your position. It is natural to wonder if there is some way to get even with a boss who fired you, but before you take any rash steps, you should review the situation to see if the termination was legal.

Are you getting a fair severance package?

When the board of directors or your supervisor called you to a meeting, you likely felt a little trepidation. Maybe things at your California company have been rocky, and you may even have sensed some uneasiness among your managers and staff. Of course, it is always in the back of your mind that you may be terminated, but when it actually happens, it still comes as a shock.

Your director may have told you they were taking the company in a different direction or that they had lost faith in you. Then they offered you a severance. It seems generous and will certainly help tide you over until you can find another position. However, before you accept, be certain you know what you may be trading away.

Were the terms of your executive contract violated?

You've worked hard to get where you are today. You were promoted to an executive position, and before starting the job, you worked out an employment contract that you believed would serve you well. Well, you've been in your position for some time now and your employer has not been honoring the terms of your contract. What can you do?

California residents, whether they work for big or small companies, whether they are in executive or lower level positions, have the legal right to question their employers if the terms of their employment contracts have been violated. Breach of contract is a serious offense. Here is what you need to know about it and how to seek compensation for any losses such a breach has caused you.

Did a boss pull the ladder out from under you once at the top?

You probably remember your early days at the California company where you worked for several decades. You were so happy even to have gained an entry-level position because you knew it was a good start and there would be opportunity for advancement. Some call this starting from the ground up and it definitely served you well in life. You went from the stockroom to a top executive position before you reached age 40.

Since then, you've been quite happy at work with the exception of everyday stresses and challenges that accompany most jobs. In fact, you and your spouse had recently begun talking about retirement, making plans to travel, perhaps invest in a beach home where you can take your grandkids and adult children for some quality family time and fun in the sun. Those plans crashed when you unexpectedly lost your job. You believe it was a wrongful termination but aren't sure what to do about it.

I think I'm being harassed in the workplace. What should I do?

If you experienced inappropriate or unfair treatment in the workplace, you may feel both embarrassed or overwhelmed by your situation. While it may be difficult to do so, you have the right to speak up for yourself and hold the appropriate parties accountable for what you experienced. Workplace harassment is unacceptable, and you do not have to stand for it.

Victims of this type of mistreatment often feel unsure about whether or not what they experienced actually qualifies as harassment. If you feel unsure or you believe that you may be a victim, you may find it beneficial to seek an evaluation of your case. This can help you understand your legal options and what is next for you.

Is your executive position on the line?

Are things becoming uncomfortable at the office? Where you used to shine and thrive, do you now meet awkward glances and stilted conversation? Maybe there is a younger group of executives moving in, and you don't fit with the new brand the company is trying to create. Are you sensing that the ax is about to fall?

Perhaps, after your years of service to the company, raising profits and securing clients, you have felt your position as an executive was secure. Now the atmosphere is changing for whatever reason, and you suspect there are plans in the works to let you go. Is there really anything you can do about it?

Gender should not play a role in your treatment in the workplace

Discrimination of all kinds is illegal in California, including a type of mistreatment related to a person's gender. State laws, federal laws and society in general condemns and prohibits any type of gender-related discrimination, but that does not mean that it does not still happen.

In fact, the mistreatment you are currently experiencing in the workplace could be more than just bad jokes and minor bullying. It could be a type of gender discrimination. If you believe that you are a victim, you would be wise to work closely with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and determine if you should move forward with a civil claim against your employer.

Are you an exempt or non-exempt employee?

If you suspect that you are not paid fairly, you have the right to seek help and take action to protect yourself and your financial interests. However, you would be wise to first understand if you are an exempt employee or non-exempt employee, and what your status means for your rights per the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Your status as exempt or non-exempt determines if you should get paid minimum wage and overtime. If you believe that your employer misclassified you, you would be wise to work with a lawyer familiar with your rights as a California employee. Even if you are unsure of your status, you always have the right to know your options.

Pregnancy discrimination is rampant -- even in Beverly Hills

Legislators try very hard to obtain gender equality in the workplace. A new California law that prohibits companies from paying female employees lower salaries than males if they do similar jobs came into force on Jan. 1. However, women on all levels of the employment ladder may be vulnerable to discrimination when they decide to start a family -- even those in high profile jobs in Beverly Hills.

Your job and your weight

Recently, you may have seen reports confirming that working women still earn less than men on the average. However, a recent law school study revealed that your weight could also be the reason your paycheck is smaller. In fact, if you are even slightly overweight, you may be making less than an average-sized woman.

Earning less money may be only one way in which you are treated differently on the job solely because of your appearance. Despite the fact that so many people in California and across the country struggle with obesity, more people - especially women - are reporting discrimination in the workplace because they are overweight.


Sherman Law Group
9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Toll Free: 866-498-0522
Fax: 310-246-0305
Beverly Hills Law Office Map