Wrongful Termination in Arizona
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Wrongful Termination in Arizona
Most employment in Arizona is "at-will." This means that if the employment contract does not state the length or conditions for employment, then the employer can terminate the employee for no reason and the employee has the right to quit his job. The termination can occur at any given time and for any legitimate purpose; therefore, proving wrongful termination can be difficult in such an arrangement.
Exceptions and Grounds for Wrongful Termination
On the other hand, being able to terminate an employee at-will does not mean that the employer can break any laws during the firing process. Even in an at-will employment setting, an Arizona employer can be held liable for wrongful termination. The following aspects of employment can create a basis for a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge claim in Arizona:
- Discrimination: Both federal and Arizona state laws prohibit employers from terminating an employee based on certain characteristics. These include race, religion, age, sex, disability, and national origin. Employees must base their decision to terminate on other factors such as work performance or attendance.
- Medical Conditions of the Employee: Employees cannot be fired simply because they have a medical condition. Thus, employers may not terminate an employee who has taken medical leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act. Also, firing an employee because they became pregnant may be considered wrongful termination.
- Legal Rights and Public Policy Issues: Employers may not fire a worker who is simply acting within their legal rights. For example, employees cannot be terminated for performing jury duty, or reporting instances of safety violations or harassment in the workplace.
- Contractual Rights & Company Policies: If there is an employment contract is in place between the employer and employee, which clearly spells out the termination procedures (including possible reasons for termination), then the employer must follow the contract. If the employer disregards contract terms, it could be a violation. This also holds true for policies contained in employee manuals and handbooks.
A wrongful termination claim in Arizona will have a much better chance of success if it can be proven that the employer violated some law or a contract provision. It is not enough to simply argue that an employer acted unfairly in terminating the person.
Remedies for Wrongful Termination
An employment or wrongful termination lawyer can help provide the legal basis for recovering compensation. Proper remedies for wrongful termination include payment for lost wages, reinstatement to the previous occupation, and possibly other types of damages.
Consulting an Attorney
A qualified Arizona lawyer can provided you more information if there is a legal basis for a claim. Additionally, he can help you navigate the legal system and represent you in court.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 02-19-2014 02:29 PM PST
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