Wrongfully Terminated as a Mechanic

If you have been recently fired as a mechanic and believe that your job was terminated illegally, then you may have grounds to bring a complaint to a state or federal agency. If the complaint cannot be resolved, then you may then have the option of filing a lawsuit against your employer to recover compensation for wrongful termination.

Both state and federal employment and anti-discrimination laws are in place to prevent employers from firing an employee whenever they want, even if the employee is employed on at-will employment terms.

Common Types of Wrongful Termination

State and federal laws prohibit termination of employment if it can be proved that it has occurred because of discrimination against a particular class of employee or because of retaliation.

If an employer is found to have wrongfully terminated an employee, then there are various sanctions which can be used against the employer, including reinstatement, fines and in extreme cases imprisonment.

The following examples of discrimination are illegal in most states and under federal law.

  • Age discrimination. This occurs when an employer discriminates against an older employee (usually those 40 years and over). The federal law that prohibits age discrimination is the Age Discrimination Act (ADA).
  • Disability discrimination. This occurs when any employee who is capable of performing the job they are employed to do is fired because of their disability.  
  • Gender discrimination. This is discrimination on the basis of their gender. Federal law also prohibits discrimination against an employee because of their sexual orientation.
  • Racial discrimination. This is discrimination against an employee because of their color, race or ethnicity.
  • Religious discrimination. This is discrimination against an employee because of their religion or religious affiliation.

State and federal laws that prohibit discrimination specifically refer to ways that discrimination can occur, such as hiring and firing, pay, overtime, promotion, benefits, etc. To take an example, a male mechanic who is of the Sikh faith may wear a turban to work unless there is a specific reason on safety grounds that wearing a turban may not be recommended.

If an employer fires the mechanic solely because of the turban wearing, the mechanic may have reasonable grounds to make a complaint of wrongful termination against his employer (religious discrimination).

A 50 year old mechanic who was fired by an employer who then replaced him with a 30 year old doing the same job and the same number of hours a day may have grounds to file a claim against their employer for wrongful termination.

Retaliation is the other main type of wrongful termination at work. An employer who fires an employee because the employee has exposed wrongdoing or unsafe work conditions (i.e. acting as a whistleblower) or applied for workers’ compensation or family or medical leave may be doing so illegally because this could be construed as retaliation against the employee.

What to Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated as a Mechanic

You cannot make a claim or complaint against your employer for wrongful termination unless you have clear evidence that your employer was breaching a state or federal labor law or discrimination law. The main federal agency dealing with all complaints of wrongful termination based on discrimination is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).

This agency only inspects cases of wrongful termination by employers who employ 15 or more employees. Each state has an agency that regulates state anti-discrimination laws and in many cases these agencies enforce laws prohibiting wrongful termination by employers with fewer than15 employees.

Most state anti-discrimination agencies also work together in a work share agreement with the EEOC.

The following is a guide to the sorts of documents you will need to obtain to show that you have been wrongfully terminated.

  • all employment documents such as employee handbook, contract (if applicable), job evaluations and termination notice;
  • reviews of your past job performance while employed for this employer;
  • verified accounts of similar examples of wrongful termination by your employer against former work colleagues;
  • statements from possible eye witnesses who can vouch for experiencing discrimination against you.

Get a Free Evaluation Today

If you have been fired as a mechanic and believe that you were wrongfully terminated, you may have good grounds to make a claim against your employer. You will have a better chance of success if you work with an experienced employment lawyer.

The lawyer will be able to assess your wrongful termination and help with preparing evidence to show that your employer acted illegally. A number of employment lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, deferring legal fees until your claim is successful.


Additional Resources

What Is the Average Wrongful Termination Settlement?

Workplace Retaliation – What Are My Rights?

Manager Wrongful Termination