Michigan is an “at-will” employment state. This means that absent an employment contract, both the employer and employee are free to terminate the employment at any given time, and for any legitimate purpose. Hence, it may be difficult to file a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge claim if your employment is considered to be at-will.
There are some exceptions to the at-will rule. For example, if a Michigan employer fires an employee for discriminatory reasons, a breach of employment contract, or in retaliation for exercising their employee rights, a Michigan employee may have a legal claim against the employer. For discriminatory purposes, Michigan employers cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, marital status, AIDS/HIV, or sickle cell trait
Under federal law, employers cannot fire an employee based on a protected characteristic such as race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, and citizenship status.
On the other hand, Michigan has implemented several pieces of legislation that makes at-will terminations more difficult. These statutes and laws protect employees by providing exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine such that employers cannot violate employment contracts or fire employees in retaliation. Even if your employment is considered to be at-will, you may be able to file for wrongful termination if any of the following exceptions apply to your situation:
You may consider reading this informative article about How to file a wrongful termination suit.
A successful wrongful termination claim can result in several favorable remedies for the employee, including recovering back pay, reinstating one’s job position, and other types of damages. The remedies for wrongful discharge or wrongful termination in Michigan will depend on the particular harm that the plaintiff suffered. For example, the employee victim may: be reinstated back to their normal work title, obtain recovery of lost benefits, or obtain back pay for lost wages.
Depending on the severity of the claim, the employer may also be required to pay additional damages such as stress/suffering damages, punitive damages, and legal fees such as attorney fees and court costs.
Wrongful termination claims in Michigan depend on whether all of the facts that led to the termination would create a wrongful termination. If the employer’s motivation in firing the employee was unlawful, then the employee may bring a wrongful termination claim even if the employee is an at-will employee.
A qualified Michigan lawyer can help determine whether there is a legal basis for a claim. He can help you navigate the legal system, represent you in court, and help you obtain the damages you deserve.
Last Modified: 04-26-2017 02:22 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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