Losing your job is stressful, but being wrongfully terminated worsens the situation. The abrupt end to your employment can be emotionally and financially devastating, and you deserve to have your rights protected if you are unlawfully terminated.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated and are considering pursuing reinstatement or other remedies, you should consult an experienced employment attorney. An attorney can assess the specifics of your case, guide you through the legal process, and help you determine the most appropriate course of action based on your goals and circumstances.
An employment attorney like Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC can also assist with other unlawful employment acts like wage and overtime violations.
What Does It Mean To Be Wrongfully Terminated?
Wrongful termination refers to the unlawful dismissal of an employee from a job. Understanding what constitutes an illegal dismissal is critical in understanding your legal options. Here are some of the factors which contribute to a wrongful termination case.
At-Will Employment vs. Employment Contracts
In many states, employment is “at-will,” meaning that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as it’s not an illegal reason.
However, an employment contract can change the at-will relationship. If your employer has violated the terms of your employment contract, your termination may be unlawful.
Discrimination and Retaliation
Suppose you have been terminated based on a legally protected characteristic such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. In that case, you may have grounds for filing a wrongful termination lawsuit.
There are also legal protections for employees terminated for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting discrimination or unsafe working conditions.
Wrongful termination may occur if you are fired in retaliation for whistleblowing, like reporting illegal activities or safety violations.
Is It Likely I Will Get My Job Back If I’m Wrongfully Terminated?
You may be able to seek legal recourse that includes reinstatement when you have been wrongfully terminated. However, there are various factors to consider, such as the nature of the termination claim and the available evidence.
Nature of the Claim
If your termination was due to discrimination or retaliation, you may be able to get your job back. In some cases, employers may be required to reinstate employees as part of a settlement or court order if the termination was based on discriminatory or retaliatory factors.
Whistleblower lawsuits are more unlikely to result in reinstatement.
Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim
An employee should accumulate evidence to better prosecute the case. The employer may offer the employee their job back as part of a settlement, but it is rare. If the claim goes to trial and the employee wins, the court could order reinstatement. However, this is also uncommon as the courts are aware that reinstatement has a history of ending poorly.
The court may award other relief, however, like wages and benefits lost from the time of termination to the date of the court’s decision. The court can also order front pay in lieu of reinstatement; front pay compensates the employees for wages he or she would have earned had he or she remained in the job. Other damages include emotional distress and suffering, and attorney’s fees and case expenses.
When Does the Law Require Reinstatement?
In terms of federal law, unlawful terminations that violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) could result in reinstatement. The FMLA applies to all government or public agencies and all companies with 50 or more employees. Laws can also be state-specific, so consulting an employment attorney is crucial in a wrongful termination case.
Contact An Experienced Employment Attorney To Evaluate Your Case
If you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated and lost wages as a result, you should contact an employment attorney like Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to help you gain clarity on the situation and determine if you should move forward with legal action.