The term wrongful termination means that an employer has fired or laid off an employee for illegal reasons in the eyes of the law. Illegal reasons for wrongful termination include: firing in violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws; firing as a form of sexual harassment; firing in violation of oral and written employment agreements; firing in violation of labor laws, including collective bargaining laws; and firing in retaliation for the employee’s having filed a complaint or claim against the employer.
Wrongful termination is believed to be a prevalent problem within employer/employee relationships. Many employees are “at will” which means that the employer may terminate the employee at any time with or without reason. However, this does not mean that employers can act in a discriminatory manner. If an employer violates any discrimination laws, they can face serious legal trouble. Anti-discrimination laws protect employees from being discharged on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy, and age.
Wrongful termination lawsuits may also occur in situations where the employer has retaliated against an employee for exercising a right that they are entitled to. If you are an employee who believes you have experienced wrongful termination for reporting your employer for violation of workplace safety laws, you may be able to successfully bring about a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you are an employee that has been terminated for taking time off under a law which gives you legal right to have that time off, you may also have a wrongful termination case.
There is an infinite amount of ways in which an employer can wrongfully terminate an employee. Another thing to keep in mind is, an employer is not required to give severance pay unless an employment contract requires it. However, you as an employee may be able to negotiate a severance package in exchange for a promise to waive any legal claims against the employer.
An experienced attorney can help sort out the issues and answer any of your questions about your protected rights as an employee.
Thought of the Day: “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble.” -Rudyard Kipling