What is wrongful termination and do employees who have been fired have redress if they have been wrongfully terminated from employment? Wrongful termination takes place when an employee is let go from their job for illegal reasons or if company policy is violated when the employee is fired.
In many cases, unless there is a contract or bargaining agreement, employees accept a job offer at will, referred to as employment at will, meaning that neither the employer nor the employee need a reason to terminate the relationship
Reasons Considered Wrongful Termination
An employee can be considered to have been wrongfully terminated if discrimination is involved in the termination, if public policy is violated, or if company policy states guidelines for termination and those guidelines were not followed.
Other reasons that could be construed as wrongful termination include being fired for being a whistleblower, complaining about workplace issues, or for not being willing to commit an illegal act when asked to by an employer.
Discrimination can be considered wrongful termination if an employee has been fired because of race, nationality, religion, gender, or age.
Wrongful Termination Reasons Protected by Law
- Breach of contract
- Constructive discharge
- Employee asked to commit an illegal act
- Company policy is violated
- Public policy is violated
Wrongful Termination Laws
There are no specific laws that provide protection for employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their job.
In addition, if an employee feels he or she was forced to leave a job because the employer made the job unbearable, he or she can file a wrongful termination suit against the former employer for constructive discharge.
Employment Discrimination Laws
Employment discrimination happens when a job seeker or an employee is treated unfavorably because of his or her race, skin color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, or age. If an employee is terminated for a discriminatory reason, there may be a case for wrongful termination. Here’s information on employment discrimination laws and what remedies are available to help combat discrimination issues.
How to Handle a Wrongful Termination
What can an employee who has been wrongfully terminated do? The first step for someone who has been wrongfully terminated is to know your rights. Here’s information on your rights when your employment is terminated.
The next step is to determine what remedies are available and what recourse you may have. Check with the Human Resources department at your company.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against or haven’t been treated according to the law or company policy the US Department of Labor has information on each law that regulates employment and advice on where and how to file a claim. Your state labor department may also be able to assist, depending on state law and the circumstances.
In addition, local bar associations often have a referral service and may even have a hotline you can call to find an employment lawyer. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for an attorney’s services.
Termination and Unemployment
When you are terminated you may not be eligible for unemployment compensation.
If you are not sure whether you’re eligible for unemployment, check with your state unemployment office to determine your eligibility for unemployment compensation. If your claim is denied you will be able to appeal and explain the circumstances of your termination.
Contact Phillip A. Austin if you feel you were wrongfully terminated from your place of employment by calling (480) 644-0506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published on the balance