Workers who are employed “at-will” may be fired at any time for any reason if the termination is not illegal. Illegal or wrongful termination may involve any of the following:
- Discrimination based on age, race or ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, pregnancy, or veteran status
- Employee refusal to engage in illegal conduct
- Employee injuries on the job
- Employee complaints about workplace environment and safety
When termination is legal, terminated employees still have important rights under both federal and state law.
Terminated employees are entitled to receive their final paycheck within a prescribed time period after being fired. State employment laws determine how long an employer has to provide a terminated employee with their final paycheck. For example, terminated employees in California are entitled to receive their final paycheck with 72 hours of being fired.
Continuing Healthcare Coverage
Terminated workers have a right to opt into continued health coverage under their employer’s plan for limited periods of time. Access to continued health benefits for terminated workers and their families is provided under the Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), employers are legally obligated to provide advance notice in the event of mass layoff. Federal law requires employers to provide 60 days’ advance notice when 100 or more employees will be terminated or laid off. The length of advance notice and the employee threshold may vary in states with their own versions of the WARN Act, such as California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York.
Workers who were not given advance notice of mass layoffs or plant closings may have claims for damages under federal and state law.
Unemployment Compensation & Severance Packages
Employees who are not at fault for their termination may also be eligible for unemployment compensation, or a percentage of their prior earnings provided by federal and state funds for a limited time to qualified workers who are actively searching for new employment.
Contractual agreements between the employer and employee may also entitle terminated employees to severance pay and benefits, such as health insurance. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide employees with severance packages.
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We Get Results for Employees
|Acosta||$9.9 million for unpaid overtime and business expenses|
|Spansion||$8.5 million for employees laid off without proper notice|
|Masco||Backpay for workers who were misclassified|
|Fleetwood||Backpay for employees laid off without proper notice|
|Cosmo||$1 million for merchandisers who were not compensated for off-the-clock work|
|First Franklin||Backpay for workers who were not paid overtime|
Our Employment Experience
Our employment attorneys have been representing classes of employees in state and federal litigation against their employers for over 20 years.
We have successfully litigated employment cases concerning unpaid overtime, meal breaks, and business expenses; employee misclassification; and mass layoffs without proper notice, recovering millions of dollars on behalf of our clients against some of the world’s largest corporations.
Girard Gibbs has been recognized a Tier-1 law firm by U.S. News – Best Lawyers consecutively since 2013, and founders Daniel Girard and Eric Gibbs have been named among the Best Lawyers in America consecutively since 2012.
|Eric Gibbs||Dylan Hughes||Steven Tindall||Michael Schrag||Steve Lopez||Linda Lam|