Wrongful termination is a critical issue in employment law, and knowing when and why you may have legal grounds to sue your employer is paramount. From discrimination and retaliation to breach of contract and public policy violations, you understanding the nuances of these legal principles is crucial for employees who believe their employers have wronged them.
Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC can help assess your unlawful termination case and also help with wage and overtime violations.
What Does Wrongful Termination Mean?
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee, and violates federal or state employment laws, employment contracts, and/or public policy.
Employment laws vary widely by jurisdiction, so employees and employers should seek legal counsel when dealing with termination issues.
6 Legal Reasons To Sue Your Employer for Wrongful Termination
Being illegally dismissed can have a devastating effect on your career, finances, and peace of mind. However, suing your employer for unlawful termination is a complex process, and you should consult an experienced employment attorney to help you navigate the legalities.
An attorney will assess the nature of your claim. If you have been unlawfully dismissed, your claim may fall into one of the below categories.
An employer cannot fire an employee based on legally protected characteristics like race, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability, pregnancy, or other like protected characteristics. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and similar state laws protect employees from being dismissed based on discrimination.
Employees are legally allowed to report discrimination, harassment, safety violations, and illegal practices in the workplace. An employer cannot retaliate and dismiss an employee for engaging in protected activities.
Various federal and state laws also have whistleblower protections to protect employee rights.
Breach of Employment Contract
Employment contracts can specify conditions for termination, such as the expected notice period or duration of employment. An employer cannot violate the terms stated in an employee’s employment contract. In that case, a dismissal which violates the contract may be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Violation of Public Policy
Employee rights like protected leave under laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be grounds to sue for unlawful termination. An employee fired for refusing to engage in illegal activities may also violate public policy.
States also have specific employment laws, and a termination may be illegal if it violates local statutes.
Some employers make the working environment so hostile that employees are forced to resign. If the conditions leading to the employee’s resignation were illegal and discriminatory, the employee can seek legal counsel for unlawful dismissal.
Whistleblower laws protect employees who report government fraud, environmental violations, or securities fraud.
If an employee was dismissed for reporting illegal workplace behaviour, it may be grounds for unlawful termination.
How To File for Unlawful Termination
An experienced employment attorney can guide you through the legalities of filing an unlawful termination lawsuit.
First, the attorney will need to establish a legal basis for the claim, such as any of the ones mentioned above. Then, the attorney will draft and file the lawsuit in the appropriate court. Before filing, you and your attorney may need to exhaust your administrative remedies by filing a charge of discrimination or other like document with a federal and/or state agency. The attorney can guide you through this process, which may be confusing.
With the help of an attorney, you may be able to settle the lawsuit through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. An illegal termination case is complex, and an experienced employment attorney can represent your interests and help you get the justice you deserve.
Consult an Employment Attorney
Being unlawfully dismissed can be a stressful situation. At Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC, we vigorously pursue employment violations.
If you suspect you are the victim of wrongful termination, you should contact our firm for a free case evaluation.