I've Been Fired - What To Do


First, pursuant to Labor Code Section 201, when an employee is terminated, the employer must pay the employee all of their earned and unpaid wages immediately. If the employer does not pay the employee all of their earned and unpaid wages immediately, the employee can recover, as a penalty, their daily wages for each day that they do not receive all of their earned and unpaid wages for up to thirty days.

Second, if eligible, an employee should pursue unemployment benefits. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, an employee must: (1) Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim, (2) Be totally or partially unemployed, (3) Be unemployed through no fault of his/her own, (4) Be physically able to work, (5) Be available for work, (6) Be ready and willing to immediately accept work, (7) Be actively looking for work, and (8) Be approved for training before training benefits can be paid. See California's Employment Development Department for more information -- http://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/Eligibility.htm is an excellent resource.

Third, an employee should contact an employment attorney to discuss the termination of their employment to determine if their termination was lawful. It is essential that an employee provide an employment attorney with all of the facts and circumstances regarding their termination. Additionally, while speaking with an employment attorney, it is always a good idea for an employee to discuss other aspects of their employment with the employment attorney to assess whether their employer violated any provisions of the California Labor Code.

Fourth, an employee should begin searching for new employment. While doing so, an employee should keep a record of all the jobs that they apply for. This is because even if an employee was wrongfully terminated, pursuant to California law, an employee has a duty to mitigate their damages. This means that an employee must attempt to obtain substantially similar employment. An employee is not able to fail to seek new employment in the hopes of obtaining larger damages from their former employer.

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