While for the most part employers can choose who they hire and fire, there are certain laws in place that are designed to protect employees from being mistreated. So, there are situations when an employee is let go from a job – or fired – which is considered wrongful termination. Wrongful termination is illegal and you may be able to file a claim against the employer if he or she wrongfully terminated you.
As an example, if your employer terminated you simply because of your religious beliefs, or because you are over 45 and then were replaced by a younger, less qualified coworker, then they have violated federal laws by discriminating against you. These are examples of wrongful termination and you have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover compensation for your damages.
Types of Wrongful Termination
There are different kinds of wrongful termination. An employee may be discriminated against and this could lead to wrongful termination. This could be because of the employee’s religious beliefs, race, age, or gender. Any of these are prohibited by federal law. If the employee is qualified and competent, then he or she is fired because the company wants to hire in a younger team or wants to have employees of a different religious background, then wrongful termination has taken place.
If you are a whistleblower, which means you reported your employer for their illegal activities or for exercising your legal rights, you are also protected by law. Your employer cannot retaliate by firing you for your whistleblowing activity. You have every legal right to report such activity of your employer. If they turn around and fire you, then you are likely the victim of wrongful termination.
How To Know If You Have a Wrongful Termination Case
If you were suddenly fired from your job, you may be wondering if you have a wrongful termination case. You must be able to prove why you were terminated and what laws were violated by your employer. With the right evidence and documentation, you can get your claim underway and successfully show that you were treated improperly and illegally.
You should carefully review the evidence. Have you been mistreated? Were inappropriate comments made? Has the boss or a co-worker joked about your age? Have you been the butt of jokes because of your beliefs or gender? Be sure to properly jot down all the details. You should keep any memos, notes, or emails. Be sure to take note of any witnesses and ask them to provide written statements regarding what they saw and heard.
Have you recently announced a pregnancy? Or did you get married? If these kinds of things happen right before you are terminated, they may be supporting evidence to help prove that you were the victim of wrongful termination. Keep copies of any employee reviews and evaluations. Make notes of any similar treatment to other employees. There may be a pattern and the employer may treat many workers in the same way. They could be frequently violating the laws and mistreating employees. Your action could help protect others from the same problems.
Check your paycheck. Have you been shorted wages? Has overtime or commission been withheld? Are you being cheated out of benefits? Be sure to notice everything and make note of all the concerns that you have regarding your job.
What To Do If You Think You Have a Case
If you believe that your employer broke the law and you were the victim of wrongful termination, you should consult with an attorney who is licensed in your state to handle employment law matters. You may have the legal grounds to pursue a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
There is a strict time limit for pursuing a wrongful termination case after you have been fired from a job. If you wait too long, you will not be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to have the details of your case reviewed by a wrongful termination lawyer that takes cases in your area. The lawyer will then determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Remember you aren’t only recovering damages; you are also helping other workers avoid similar situations from that employer.