Wrongful Termination in Indiana
Wrongful termination, or wrongful discharge, refers to the firing of an employee which violates the law or an employment contract. Proving wrongful termination in the state of Indiana can be challenging, since Indiana is an “at-will employment” state. This means that the employment can be ended by either party at anytime, and for any legal reason.
Wrongful termination claims in an at-will employment arrangement usually involve various civil rights issues. For example, termination is considered to be wrongful if it violates anti-discrimination or anti-harassment laws. In particular, employment discrimination is heavily regulated in the state of Indiana. For example, there is no statute of limitations (filing deadline) for workplace disputes involving discrimination.
Unlike other states, Indiana requires private employers to grant 15 days of leave for employees who are in the military. These leave days are for the purpose of allowing the worker to perform their military duties or service. Terminating an employee for taking military leave can also be grounds for wrongful termination.
In addition, a wrongful termination claim can be based on a violation of principles of public policy. An employer can be liable for wrongful termination if they fire an employee for whistleblowing (reporting misconduct). A violation of a whistleblower law in Indiana is a Class A misdemeanor crime, punishable by fines of up to $10,000. In addition, terminating an employee because they served on jury duty will result in a fine of up to $1,000.
Besides the monetary fines, an employer can also be held personally liable for the losses caused to an employee by wrongful termination. The victim of the wrongful termination may be entitled to a number of remedies, such as receiving back pay, being returned to their job status, and collecting damages for emotional suffering. A qualified Indiana lawyer can provided you more information if there is a legal basis for a claim.
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Last Modified: 09-06-2012 08:42 AM PDT
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