You believe that you do your job well. You clearly meet your duties and try to perform the tasks on time. But one day your employer calls you and says that you are fired. To your question ”why”, he/she gives neither explanations nor lawful reasons. So, what to do? Actually, if you are sure that you face a wrongful termination, you may submit a claim against your former employer. However, before getting into the legal procedures together with your wrongful termination lawyer, let’s get the idea of wrongful termination itself.
According to the legal definitions, termination is wrongful when it has no legal reasons. This may involve violation of federal anti-discrimination laws and/or breach of contract. It is illegal to fire the employer for the following reasons:
- Ethnic background
- Employee filed a claim against the employer
- The employee is a whistleblower
- Constructive discharge
- Violation of company policy
- Violation of public policy, etc.
Common circumstances of wrongful termination in detail
Though we have mentioned those circumstances under which the termination is wrongful, let’s single out the most common ones and see what their essence is.
Breach of contract
If you have signed an employment contract, its terms and conditions limit your employer’s actions. For example, if there is a certain period of time mentioned in the employment contract for you to perform your duties, the employer can’t fire you before the end of that term. Otherwise, you may submit a claim for wrongful termination and breach of contract.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states the Equal employment opportunity and defines the terms regarding the working environment, has a special section 703 describing discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. According to the section:
”It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
This is one of the main circumstances of wrongful termination when the employee is fired because of certain activities. An example of retaliation is when the employee has informed about sexual harassment or formed a labor union and got terminated for that deed.
In most states (except Montana), employees work ”at-will”. In this case, the employer can fire the employee at any time for any legal reason or even without reason. However, no matter your employment is ”at-will” or not, your termination will be treated as a wrongful if performed on an illegal basis.
Damages to wrongfully terminated employees may include:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Compensatory damages
- Reasonable accommodations
- Injunctive relief
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful termination lawyer fees
What to do after termination?
After hearing the exclamation ”fired!”, do not get into despair. That will bring more harm to you. I agree, that wrongful termination is not your daydream. Moreover, if you make proper steps, believe me, or not, the results will be satisfactory. First, clearly identify your rights. Second, get to know the remedies and reliable recourses. Also, don’t forget to document the circumstances under which they fired you.
It is equally important to ask for your personal file to know whether other things were added to the file to justify the termination or not. Next step is to gather such relevant materials as employee handbooks, memos, brochures, orientation materials or written evaluation of your work. The last but not least, find out how to file a claim and where to submit. In addition, to handle all these procedures, you need a skillful wrongful termination lawyer to ”hold your hand” and walk through the legal path.
Has your employer broken his/her promises made in the recruiting process or in the final stages of employment? If the answer is positive, you may be facing a fraud. You need the following data to prove that you lost the job because of fraudulent actions.
- False representation by the employer
- Someone knew about the false representation
- The employer intentionally deceived you
- You really relied on the representation
- As a result of your reliance, you were harmed, etc.
Actually, the hardest part of the above mentioned is to prove that the employer intended to trick you. To provide grounded evidence, you need to gather documentation regarding the fact how, to whom, and by what means the employer made that false representation.
Wrongful termination lawyer to hire
In fact, there is no any specific law to provide protection for wrongfully terminated employees. However, federal or state laws prohibiting discrimination and/or contract law may cover the case of wrongful termination. If you feel that one of the hereinabove circumstances refers to your termination case, undoubtedly you need a wrongful termination lawyer. He/she knows everything about wrongful termination and beyond. Your employee rights should be protected. There is no one else but our wrongful termination lawyer to stand by you and fight with the sword of justice.