Losing your job can be a stressful and difficult experience. But what if your termination was not only unexpected, but also unlawful? Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for illegal reasons, such as discrimination or retaliation. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, there are steps you can take to protect your rights.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that are illegal. Under federal and state laws, employers are prohibited from firing employees for reasons such as:
- Discrimination: Employers cannot terminate employees based on their race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or other protected characteristics.
- Retaliation: Employers cannot fire employees for reporting discrimination, harassment, or other illegal activities.
- Breach of Contract: Employers cannot fire employees in violation of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.
- Violation of Public Policy: Employers cannot fire employees for exercising their legal rights or for engaging in activities that are protected by public policy.
If you believe that you were fired for any of these reasons, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
What Can You Do About It?
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Seek Legal Advice: Speak with an experienced employment attorney to discuss your case and determine whether you have a claim for wrongful termination. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can advise you on the best course of action to take.
- Gather Evidence: Collect any documents, emails, or other evidence that supports your claim of wrongful termination. This may include performance evaluations, disciplinary records, or correspondence with your employer.
- File a Complaint: If you believe that your termination was illegal, you may be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency. These agencies can investigate your claim and may take legal action on your behalf.
- Consider Legal Action: If you are unable to resolve your claim through the EEOC or other agency, you may need to file a lawsuit against your employer. An experienced employment attorney can help you navigate the legal process and work to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Wrongful termination can have serious consequences for your career and your financial wellbeing. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, it’s important to take action to protect your rights. Speak with an experienced employment attorney to discuss your case and determine the best course of action to take.