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Wrongful terminations involve situations where an employee’s dismissal from a job breaches the terms of a contract or is against the employment law. Often times, employees are surprised by the sudden decision of their employer to end their contract. If you are wondering what might have led to the loss of your job, there is a chance that your dismissal may not have been entirely legal.
What counts as wrongful termination?
1. Discussing labor issues with other employees
The law provides that one should not be dismissed for participating in work-related matters with other employees. Unfortunately, some employers do not entertain this and end up taking extreme measures as a result. Luckily for you, the law does not allow employers to fire staff for participating in protected concerted activity.
The issues under discussion may be anything from wages to working conditions. Provided the complaints are not individual, the law protects you. However, if you are the only one complaining about something and get fired as a consequence, there is nothing that the law can do for you.
2. Employer retaliation
At some point during your tenure, you may have witnessed unlawful activity at your workplace. Some employees decide to stay silent about it, while others choose to report illicit activities. While it may not always end well for staff choosing to report, if an employer reacts to such reports by dismissing an employee, it is considered wrongful termination. The employment law goes to the extent of protecting whistleblowers. If you have reason to believe that your termination was based on retaliation, you have the right to file a lawsuit. However, you need to have evidence that shows your dismissal was not found on misconduct or poor performance.
It may come as a surprise but to this day, some employers still discriminate against certain employees; the bias might be based on race, gender, religion, or the citizenship status of an individual– it is illegal to fire someone based on the above terms mentioned.
The law specifically protects employees from all sorts of discrimination. Employees are protected from this and are allowed to file a claim if they are fired based on illegal discrimination. Again, you will be required to bring forth evidence to show that your dismissal was discriminatory.
4. Medical history
Unfortunately, many employers use the medical information of an individual’s family to decide whether or not someone is fit for a job. Employers are prohibited from using such information to terminate employment contracts. Doing so attracts penalties from the federal government.
If your termination is based on any of the reasons above, you are allowed to sue. As an employee, you are encouraged to carefully read through your employment contract. If your employment contract reveals you can only be terminated ‘for cause,’ you might want to look deeper and understand the defined cause. By knowing your rights, you will be in a better position to tell if they are being infringed.In the case of wrongful termination, you might want to consider involving an employment attorney to help you file a claim. Different claims have different guidelines, and mere knowledge of the law may not be helpful. Assistance from an experienced professional is vital as he or she will help you make the most informed decisions about your case. Again, it is crucial to understand your employment contract as they differ from state-to-state and by employers. If you get the right lawyer for the job, you can be guaranteed a successful claim.