Tech Layoffs – Could You Have Been Wrongfully Terminated? 2 Potential Signs
Tech Layoffs have been rampant, with more probably on the way.
Tech layoffs have reached historic highs, with more than 200,000 jobs lost since last year. Meta, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have laid off at least a combined 51,000 tech workers during this period. Twitter alone has laid off close to 10,000 workers.
The tech layoffs come as a result of companies hiring big during the pandemic. Google and Microsoft increased their workforce by almost 50 percent.
Layoffs occur when a usually large sum of employees are terminated from their jobs, generally due to budget cuts or company downsizing.
However, just because you were laid off doesn’t mean it was done fairly. In fact, you could be a victim of wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is unlawfully terminated in a violation of their legal rights as a worker.
Sure, mass job casualties such as the recent tech layoffs may seem wrong, but they aren’t necessarily wrongful. Remember, California employment status is at-will, so an employee can be terminated at any time with or without cause. Still, this doesn’t mean you weren’t terminated in an unlawful manner.
Some companies may use mass layoffs as a way to wrongfully terminate employees they couldn’t otherwise let go of because of legal factors.
Let’s say for example that Sid, a non-binary employee at a fintech company, files a complaint with HR that their colleagues tease them and intentionally refer to them by the wrong pronouns. During a round of layoffs, the company includes Sid as a way to get rid of them without addressing the problem. They tell Sid it is due to company downsizing.
While the case is complex, Sid might have a claim that they were wrongfully terminated as part of the tech layoffs.
Per law, employees are protected from unfair treatment, including wrongful termination, because of:
- Sex (this includes gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation)
- National origin
- Age (40 and older)
Employees are also protected from retaliation after they:
- Report harassment
- Report discrimination
- Report unsafe work conditions or other labor code violations
- Report company violation of any laws
- Refuse to engage in discriminatory or otherwise illegal activity
To sum this up, you may have been wrongfully terminated if:
- You were terminated on the basis of belonging to a protected class
- You were terminated as retaliation for engaging in a legally protected activity
In their situation, Sid would have to prove they were let go of not because of downsizing, but because of retaliation and discrimination. They could do this with documented evidence such as:
- Any emails or email exchanges between them and their company or HR
- Text messages with the aforementioned groups
- Employee track record
Recent tech layoffs have taken their toll on many employees. While most layoffs are legal, there is still a possibility a company uses layoffs as an excuse to let go of someone unlawfully.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated after a round of tech layoffs, it’s best to consult with a wrongful termination attorney.
At C&B Law Group, we have a team of employment attorneys ready to help determine if you have a case. We will carefully examine all evidence available to discover if there is a potential claim.
The LA lawyers at C&B Law Group have recovered millions of dollars for clients. Our employment team has recently settled employment discrimination cases of $150,000 dollars or more.
Wrongful termination is unfair. Companies using mass layoffs as an excuse to discriminate is not only wrong, it’s illegal.
Don’t sit in the shadows if you believe you were wrongfully terminated as part of company-wide layoffs. Contact our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys today.
Your initial consultation with us is free. Reach out today.