How will you know you’ve been wrongfully terminated? And what can you do about it?
Many questions and doubts come to mind when one even considers filing a lawsuit against their former employer. But don’t worry! We are here to help you learn everything about wrongful termination, and more importantly, how can you deal with instances of wrongful termination as an employee.
Before anything else, let’s just be very clear about what wrongful termination actually is:
Wrongful termination is the act of terminating an employee for unfair/illegal reasons, or in a way that violates a contract. It is sometimes also called wrongful discharge or wrongful dismissal. Termination of an employee is wrongful if it breaks State or Federal laws or the employer’s implied or written stipulations for firing.
Having said that, wrongful termination laws differ from state to state. Most states imply at-will employment, which means neither the employee nor employer needs a reason to end employment unless there is a bargaining agreement or contract. But, If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, then you need to hire a wrongful termination lawyer to help you. There are several reasons to claim wrongful termination, such as:
- Harassment- Harassment creates a negative work environment. Instances of harrasment can include insulting comments about race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or age. A termination based on turning down unwanted advances can also be considered a case of wrongful discharge.
- Violation of bargaining agreement or contract- If the employer is in breach of the employment contract or has violated the terms of a bargaining agreement, it can be considered grounds for wrongful termination.
- Retaliation- “Retaliation” refers an employee is terminated in because of reporting discrimination or illegal behavior, exercising legal rights, or cooperating with investigations.
- Constructive dismissal- Constructive dismissal happens when an employer exploits the work environment to force an employee to quit. They may also implicate changing the employment terms and conditions without notice.
- Engaging in illegal acts- If an employee is terminated for asking or expecting to commit or engage in illegal acts by the employer, then the employee has been wrongfully terminated and could possibly have a reason to file a claim.
- Whistleblowing- Whistleblowers are not allowed to be fired for reporting violations of state or illegal actions or federal laws.
So, if you have been terminated from employment for these reasons, it’s important to know your rights and file a lawsuit.
What to do about wrongful termination?
Employees who feel they have been terminated wrongfully have a lot of options. They can even receive protection when needed. Below are a few things to keep in mind if you have been wrongfully terminated:
- Do your own research and understand the employment laws applicable in your state.
- It is equally important to understand the terms of your employment contract.
- Seek help from a wrongful termination lawyer. The right professional guidance can make the entire claim process much less painful and a lot faster.
- You can ask the HR department about how the termination process works.
- Check with the unemployment office to decide whether you’re eligible for unemployment or not.
If you believe that you’ve been wrongfully terminated, the best you can do is gather evidence, perform research, and hire a wrongful termination lawyer to seek out advice on how to go about the claim process. They will help you in filing a claim or seeking legal redress.