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Were you Wrongfully Terminated?

Dec. 18, 2017

The United States Federal Law has set specific guidelines for employers to follow when considering the termination of an employee’s contract. These set of rules address the freedom of the employer concerning violations of employment contracts. These address the agreement that the employer and employee had before or after resuming employment.

Discriminatory acts in the workplace may overlap with this area, but they come under a separate legal topic which is called Title VII. Discriminatory Law is based largely on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and has become a growing branch of the Federal Law Code of the United States.

Employees that do not have a certain contract with their employers can challenge wrongful termination on the basis of the employee handbook. The handbook can serve as an agreement between the two parties.

What Is Considered To Be Wrongful Termination?

Employment Termination based on any of the following can be considered illegal and challengeable:

  • Discrimination: An employer cannot terminate an employee based on their nationality, race, age, sex, religion, and (in certain jurisdictions) sexual orientation.

  • Employee’s refusal to be involved in an illegal act: If the employer is asking the employee to commit an illegal act on behalf of the company, then the employer reserves no right to terminate the employment.

  • Retaliation: If an employee has filed a discrimination complaint or has been part of an investigation pertaining to a discrimination case, they cannot fire the employee in retaliation.

  • Termination procedure not being followed: If the employer is considering termination of an employee’s contract, the process must be according to the employee handbook. If the process is not followed, the employee reserves the right to file a wrongful termination claim.

Employment at Will

To pursue a wrongful termination claim, it is important for the employee must know the ins and outs of their employee handbook very well. In most wrongful termination cases, the employment at will doctrine can also play a major part. The employment at will doctrine is adopted by most states and claims that the employees are not bound by anything more than their will to work. Both the employer and the employee reserve the right to terminate the contract at any time.

This may be true to some extent, but in the case that the employer has signed a specific contract with the employee stating the terms of discharge, the doctrine does not apply.

Pursuing a Wrongful Termination Claim

For a person that claims that they were wrongfully terminated, having a good knowledge of the statutes of limitation is necessary for a successful claim. These limitations are the rules that dictate how much time may elapse between the discharge and the filing of the lawsuit. So, it is not advised to wait too long before you file the claim for wrongful termination against your employer. There also has to be a claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before the lawsuit can be filed.

The process is a bit difficult to understand for people who do not have detailed knowledge of the American Legal system, but there are reliable attorneys that can help you out with the process and the lawsuit.

Talk to an experienced Roselle wrongful termination attorney to discuss your case. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today for a consultation.