Losing a job is a tough experience, but you should worry less if you know how to find out if your termination was wrongful or not. If it turns out that you were a victim of wrongful termination, you have all the power for restoring justice.
As you know, any employment exists within the “at will” principle. That means you or the employer can end the employment for no or any legal reason. However, as you also know rules have exceptions. Usually, people stress out about all the exceptions in fields of legal activity. However, these exceptions you are going to love. Why? Because they might help you keep the job or sue the employer for unlawfully firing you. Here are five things you should know about wrongful termination.
Discrimination Equals Wrongful Termination
As sad as it is some employers might still fire you based on nationality, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc. If that is the case, your termination is illegal, and it is time for you to consult a lawyer. There are specific rules that apply to each case of discrimination type. So, make sure you follow the guidelines for each case. As a rule of thumb, before taking matters to court, you must file a complaint with a state or federal agency. The case might take the form of a private lawsuit or discrimination charge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Find more about types of discrimination and the role of discrimination lawyers here.
Termination as a Way to Retaliate
As an employee, you have the right to report any illegal activity taking place in the workplace. So, if you were fired right after your report, your termination is likely to be wrongful. You can file a complaint about activities such as violations of safety law, discrimination, and harassment. Note that instead of hiring you the employer can deny promotion or give you a negative performance review. Being wrongfully discharged in response to exercising your rights for good sounds terribly unjust. So, don’t let anybody get away with that.
Yes, it shouldn’t happen, but it does. Employers can ask you to perform illegal activities during employment which obviously you should refuse. Did you have that awkward conversation with your boss who asked you to perform a task which violates safety laws? And the moment you refused you noticed the dissatisfaction on your boss’s face soon after which, he/she fired you. It’s not hard to guess that this is a wrongful termination scenario. Moreover, in this case, an employer initiates a double wrongdoing. Asks to agree to unlawful activity and fires you as a response. Remember that you can fire back!
Public Policies Guarantee Your Rights
The violation of public policy by an employer is a wrongful termination for you. An employer has no right to fire you for reasons that are recognized by society as illegitimate. Now, it’s one thing when you skip work because it was your friend’s birthday, and another when you take that time to vote. In case an employer uses the latter as a termination excuse, it’s your turn to prove them wrong. Taking your time to serve on a jury or military are your rights and not reasons for termination.
Dealing with Defamation
If you went through a problematic termination process, defamation might be a real thing for you. And you can sue your employer for that as well. False accusations, aren’t just words and will ensue serious consequences. Your employer can make harmful statements that might later influence your chances of getting a job. Don’t hesitate to sue your employer if during termination or while providing references your employer made hostile statements. You might be glad to get away from a horrible boss, but you definitely don’t want them leaving a black mark on your career.
Now, that you know this much about wrongful termination you are no more an easy target for unlawful employers. Remember that your rights are above all. The moment your employer violates the law, rules of the game change and you become the boss. So, know your rights and know how to fight back!