Employment laws have become more stringent in recent years, which means that it’s safer to be an employee in the modern world. But that doesn’t mean that violations don’t happen!
In fact, most employees are at-will employees, which means they can leave their jobs or be let go from their jobs without any notice or reason at any time. Unless you are part of a union, you are probably an at-will employee.
What does this mean if you have been wrongfully terminated? Does this mean that you have to hire an employee rights lawyer?
Read on to get all the nuances of wrongful termination and employee rights.
You Can Be Wrongfully Fired for Many Different Reasons
Wrongful termination happens when an employee has been fired for illegal reasons or in a way that breaches a contract.
The unfortunate matter is that employees might be wrongfully fired, but have no idea that they need to hire an employee rights attorney and claim wrongful dismissal.
These are the reasons for wrongful termination that you need to be aware of.
1. Your Employer Violated a Contract, Written or Unwritten
Even though at-will employees can get fired without a reason, if you and your employer have signed some sort of contract or if you have a spoken agreement about something, that cannot be violated.
If your written or spoken agreement gets violated, then you have the right to ask for compensation due to wrongful termination.
The simplest example is that they hired you for a certain period of time, a year or 6 months. And they let you go before that period ended, without a suitable reason.
2. There Was Some Form of Discrimination Involved
No matter what, an employer cannot discriminate against anyone based on their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.
In some states, they can’t fire you for your marital status, pregnancy, or military affiliation.
If you believe that you were wrongfully fired because of any of the above reasons, you have cause to seek compensation for wrongful dismissal.
The problem with this is that it’s difficult to prove that discrimination occurred. In fact, many older people are being let go due to age discrimination, but they are having a hard time proving it!
3. They Let You Go Due to Unfair Employment Practices
In all employment contracts, there is an underlying covenant of good faith and fair dealing. If one party keeps the other from benefiting from the contract, the contract has been breached.
An example of this would be if your employer fired you because he didn’t want to pay you a large sales commission. Or you were wrongfully terminated because your employer wanted to hire someone cheaper.
4. Some Sort of Public Policy Was Violated
An employer and employee relationship doesn’t exist in a vacuum and is subject to the laws of the state that it’s located in. Each state has employment laws specific to it.
In some states, they can’t fire you for jury duty, to vote, or to serve in the military or National Guard.
Also, they can’t fire you for taking medical or family leave for any reason outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Act.
5. You Were Fired Because of Whistleblowing
This is becoming more common nowadays and that’s why it’s necessary to mention it here.
If your employee is doing something illegal and you catch them in the act, you are allowed to report that to the correct authorities, without being fired for it.
Whistleblowing laws are extremely complex, and that’s why you need to ensure you have a strong employee rights attorney by your side, like Davtyan Law Firm, so you come out on top.
6. Your Employee Asked You to Commit an Illegal Act
This is related to whistleblowing, but in this case, you are asked to commit an illegal act and then wrongfully fired when you refuse to do it.
Even if you want to have your ethics cake and eat it too, it might not be possible when you have an unscrupulous employer. In such a case, you would be able to apply for compensation.
7. Your Employer Spread False Facts About You
If you are in the public eye or you work in a close-knit industry where tongues wagging about your work ethic would result in you losing out on future jobs, then it’s possible you could use an employee rights lawyer.
A defamation suit is when your employer’s falsehoods are making it hard for you to find another job.
Famed political cartoonist Ted Rall was pursuing a wrongful termination suit in 2016 against LA Times as they published a note in the newspaper that raised suspicions about Ted’s claims.
An Employee Rights Lawyer Can Guide You Towards the Right Decision
The problem with employee rights lawsuits is that they can take up a lot of your precious time, money, and energy. It’s better to know in advance whether it’s worth the fight.
And if you have remote employees and are wondering how to monitor employee computers then have a look into that software as we feel it’s the best solution.
If you bring in an employee rights attorney right from the beginning, they can help you gauge whether going forth with a lawsuit is the right step forward or not.
They can also help you gather evidence and witnesses. Finally, they can help you negotiate a deal so you can settle out of court rather than going to trial and wasting more time.
You could fight this battle on your own, but it’s always better to have someone on your side.
Were You Illegally Fired? Act Now
The important thing with wrongful termination suits is that you need to act fast. If you believe you were wrongfully fired, don’t delay.
Contact an employee rights lawyer asap and gather your evidence. Your employer might already have experience in this matter, so you need to prepare for it better than they would.
If you found this article enlightening and would like to read more, check out the other articles on our website.