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Employment law- can I take my employer to court and how much time do I have

Los Angeles, CA |

I worked for a company for 9 months, during the first six months my manager informed me how great job I am doing, and how lucky he is for having me in his group. However between 6-9 months of my employment, when a big company decided to purchase our company and performance review was an important factor to decide which employee stays and which goes, my manager put me under performance improvement required category. It came as a total surprise for me. Finally, I was laid off based on poor performer.
I was next in command, my manager had lost his job during the last merger (just 2-3 years ago), I strongly believe I was targeted so my manager’s job could be saved, can any attorney help me and how much time do I have to take my employer to court.

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Attorney answers 3


From the facts described here, it is unlikely you could prevail in an action against your employer. You worked at this company for only a sort time and from all appearances you were an at-will employee who could be terminated at any time for any reason as long as it was not based on some form of unlawful discrimination which does not appear to be the case here. If you want to pursue a common law wrongful termination action, you have 2 years from the date you were terminated to file suit. A discrimination complaint must be filed with the DFEH within one year from your discharge.


You should definitely speak with at least one or two attorneys. There are some possibilities for a wrongful termination suit, but much more information would be needed in order to fully evaluate. There could also be other types of suits possible, again depending on facts yet to be discussed. One thing I know for sure, waiting will not help. Some doors could close due to the passage of time, but the doors may noty have been open in the first place. One year from when you knew of the problem would be a good guess, but until more facts are known, that is only a guess. Talk to a lawyer or two, or more, ASAP. Many lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation.


It sounds like you were an at will employee. This means that an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason at all. However an employer cannot fire you for illegal reasons such as age, pregnancy, race, disability, etc. Even though it may have been cruel, unless you can point to some illegality in the termination, you will have a hard time prevailing against your employer in a wrongful termination action. If you believe there may have been some kind of discrimination or retaliation, you should consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible.

The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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