Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is fired or terminated from their job in a manner that violates federal, state, or local laws. Under most employment arrangements, employers are free to fire a worker for certain reasons, such as a failure to perform their tasks or for performing substandard work. However, they can’t fire them for certain reasons, such as those based on discrimination.
Wrongful dismissal is also called "wrongful termination" or "wrongful discharge." These types of claims, along with wage/hour disputes, make up a substantial amount of employment law cases each year.
What Are Some Forms of Wrongful Dismissal?
There are many different forms of wrongful dismissal. Generally speaking, an employer cannot dismiss, fire, terminate, or discharge an employee for reasons such as:
- Discrimination: Anti-discrimination laws prevent employers from firing workers based on race, age, sex, gender, political/religious affiliation, and other categories.
- Retaliation: Employers can’t fire a worker in retaliation against an employee who has filed a complaint against the company.
- Failure to comply with requests to perform illegal acts (for instance, if a worker refuses to alter financial records according to their boss’ instruction)?|
- Breach of employer’s own policy.
There are various other bases for a wrongful dismissal charge. For instance, an employee can’t be dismissed while on a valid leave (such as medical or family leave). A wrongful dismissal charge can also occur if the employer breaches an employment contract between them and the worker.
Are There Any Remedies for Wrongful Dismissal?
In a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, the plaintiff may be entitled to remedies, which will depend on the facts of the case. A person who has lost their job due to a wrongful dismissal may be entitled to remedies such as:
- Reinstatement to their previous employment position
- Monetary damages for lost wages and other expenses
- Changes at the workplace (such as revision of employment handbook policies, a change of supervisor, etc.)
In some cases, if the wrongful dismissals are happening to many employees, a class action suit may be filed. This can often lead to a more widespread investigation into the company’s practices.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Wrongful Dismissal Case?
Wrongful dismissal cases can often involve some very complex legal issues. You may need to hire an employment lawyer in your area if you need help filing a claim for wrongful dismissal. Your attorney can help you with research, filing, and other tasks in preparation for your claim. Also, your attorney can provide you with representation during hearings and other court meetings.