Legal Remedies for Employment Dismissal without Cause

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Are There Any Legal Remedies If I Was Dismissed from My Job?

Employees who have been dismissed from their job without cause may have a valid claim of wrongful termination against their employer.

At-Will vs. Contract Employment

Whether you have a legal claim against your employer may depend upon whether you had a contract or whether you were an employed at-will. If you were employed at-will, then an employer may fire an employee for any reason or for no reason, provided that the firing was not for an illegal reason such as discrimination (see below).

If you had an employment contract that stated that you could only be terminated for good cause or for reasons stipulated in the contract, then your employment is unlikely to be at-will. Also, if your contract for employment was for a specified period of time, and you were fired prior to the expiration of the contract, then you may have a valid case for wrongful discharge against your employer.

Promises of Continued Employment

If your employer made promises to you of continued employment, and then terminated your employment, you may have a strong case against your employer for wrongful dismissal. This is especially true if you received positive performance reviews, were frequently promoted, and were made promises of future permanent employment for an indefinite period of time.

Violations Committed by the Employer

A violation of the usual employment practices that are required to precede the discharge of an employee, may strengthen your case against your employer. For instance, your employer may have failed to give you a warning before firing you.

Another violation committed by employers is one concerning good faith and fair dealing. For example, your employer may invent a reason for firing you when, in fact, they may wish to hire someone else, and pay them a lower salary. Or they may simply wish to give the job to another person.

Furthermore, your employer may be in violation of public policy if they fired you for taking time off work to serve on a jury, to serve in the military, or for engaging in whistle-blowing by informing the authorities of wrongful behavior by your employer or other employees at the company. Moreover, your employer is prohibited from engaging in retaliatory action by firing you because you exercised your rights to a legal remedy by filing a worker’s compensation claim or by filing a claim with an agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

You may also have been terminated because your employer made defamatory statements about you, and such statements prevented you from finding another job.

What Is Employment Discrimination?

You may have a case for employment discrimination if any of the following factors were relevant to your dismissal:

Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you think you were wrongfully terminated by your employer, it is best to consult an employment lawyer immediately because there may be a statute of limitations for filing a claim. Your attorney will help you determine what course of action to take in proving that your former employer engaged in wrongful termination of your employment.

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Last Modified: 05-28-2014 02:42 PM PDT

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