Each day, there are several people who are terminated or fired from various job positions for multiple reasons. Who gets to work in an organization and who doesn’t is the employer’s decision, but there are situations when firing an employee can be against the law. There are federal laws in place that are bound by acts like The Family and Medical Leave Act and Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Whenever an employee believes that he has been terminated from a job wrongfully, they have the right to file a lawsuit against the employer. In order to safeguard your rights as an employee and prevent wrongful termination from occurring in your workplace, it is vital for both employees and employers to know what is legal and what is illegal. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful termination.
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Wrongful termination – What is it?
Most employees are hired these days on the basis of ‘at-will’ employment and not on the basis of any specific contract. When this is the arrangement done while employing a candidate, the employer has the right to fire him without providing any valid reason. Employers are usually safeguarded in most situations apart from the time when they fire an employee by violating some policy or through workplace discrimination. In short, wrongful termination occurs when an employee is dismissed from the job due to some unknown and unlawful reason.
What are some examples of wrongful termination?
If you’re a resident of the state of California, you need to know that there are several discriminatory reasons that are unlawful for firing an employee. Here are a few examples of such reasons:
- Gender Identity
- Sexual orientation
- Political Affiliation
- Physical and Mental Disability
- National Origin
Apart from such discriminatory factors, employers can also not fire employees due to reasons like:
- Sexual harassment
- Previous violations of the law
- Whistle blowing
- Violation of employment laws
Wrongful termination – What are a few valid reasons
There are several reasons that an employer can give for firing staff and several ways in which an employer can wrongfully terminate an employee. Seeking the help of law firms like www.hayberlawfirm.com can help you with an experienced attorney who can give you a clear idea of the possible factors that can lead to a wrongful termination claim.
Breach of Implied Agreements and Written Contracts
As most employment relationships are considered at-will, the employer might decide to discharge an employee at any time without any reason, as long as there is a violation of state and federal laws. Nevertheless, in the case of a written agreement, this creates an exception to the at-will employment relationship.
- An employment contract that promises the security of your job is a strong signal that the employee is not just an at-will employee
- A written job offer can include resolutions about permanent employment under conditions or constant employment for a standard amount of time
- A contract might state that an employee can’t be fired without any specific cause
It is usually noted that the existence of an implied employment contract can be hard to prove. In order to decide whether or not an implied employment contract is, courts review various factors including:
- The duration of the employment
- The positive performance of the employee
- How frequently promotions were offered to the employee
- Promises of constant employment
- Whether or not the employer offered a guarantee of long-term employment during the time of the appointment
- Whether the termination was a violation of employment practice, like denying an employee the required disciplinary warnings
Discrimination is an unlawful act and no employer is supposed to fire an employee, due to religion, race, skin color, national origin, age, gender, pregnancy, physical ability, or genetic details. The majority of states have laws that prohibit discrimination. For example, in California, employees in a company can be terminated based on their sexual orientation. On the other hand, in Illinois, employees can’t be discriminated against based on their credit history and financial past.
There are situations where the actions of the employer while terminating an employee are so inappropriate and deceitful that they can be termed as fraud. In such cases, the employee has the right to file a wrongful discrimination claim against the employer. These are extreme cases that are usually noticed during the recruitment process where grandiose promises are made with an intention of breaking them soon after. Fraud can also occur at the end of the employment term when the employee is forced to resign from work.
The employee should prove that the loss of their job was caused due to employer fraud by demonstrating the following:
- The employer gave a deceitful representation
- The intention of the employer was to receive the employee or that he tried to full the employee into believing the fraudulent representation
- Someone in an authoritative position was already aware of the fraudulent representation
- The employee was harmed or damaged in some way by depending on the fraudulent representation
A defamation lawsuit is usually filed to safeguard the reputation of a person. If you have to prove that defamation was a part of the employee’s wrongful termination, it should be shown that the employer had made hateful statements about the employee during the process of termination. Here are a few things that employees should show:
- That the employer made a false statement about the employee
- That the employer spread the false statement among several other people
- That the employer made the statement with heinous intention and with callous disregard for its appropriateness
- That the employer harmed the employee by spreading the false statement to others
While there are several employees who can consider themselves victims of wrongful discrimination, the legal definition is quite specific. If you think you too have been a victim of wrongful termination, you can speak with a wrongful termination attorney who can help you with a legal alternative. However, make sure he has your best interests in mind.