Wrongful Termination Lawyers
What is a Wrongful Termination Lawyer?
A wrongful termination lawyer is a lawyer that specializes in wrongful termination cases. Wrongful termination, also called unlawful termination, is a subcategory employment law. It occurs when an employer fires an employee for an illegal or unauthorized reason.
This may include reasons that:
- Violate federal, state, or local laws;
- Go against public policy; or
- Breach the terms of an employment agreement.
Wrongful termination may also occur if an employer fires an employee who refuses to obey work instructions that are illegal. This may include unlawful activities such as disregarding safety regulations for a work task or asking the employee to commit more serious crimes, such as tax evasion.
An employee can also be unlawfully terminated if their employer ignores their own company policies regarding terminating employees. For example, if the employer does not follow the proper steps or protocols when releasing an employee from their position.
Any employer who terminates an employee in a manner that is unlawful, they may face legal consequences. A wrongful termination lawyer will review the circumstances of your termination, determine if your termination was illegal, and assist you in taking legal action against your employer.
A loss of employment can be a devastating, life-altering event. You do not have to face it alone. Your wrongful termination lawyer will be with you every step of the way.
Why is it Important to Have a Wrongful Termination Attorney?
It is essential to have the assistance of a wrongful termination attorney if you have been wrongfully terminated. It is even possible that you were wrongfully terminated and are not aware that you were and that you can receive compensation.
For this reason, it is helpful to be familiar with the types of wrongful termination. They include:
Retaliatory discharge may occur when an employer terminates an employee for filing a legal complaint against the business. Federal laws protect employees when they report certain activities including harassment, employee wage violations, and other public policy exceptions.
For example, an employer cannot terminate an employee if they request time off for mandatory jury duty. An employer is also prohibited from terminating an employee who files a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
An employer is not permitted to terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons. A common example is age. An employer cannot terminate an employee who turns 60 based solely on their age.
An employer is also prohibited from terminating an employee who takes a valid medical, family, or personal leave from work. For example, if an employee complies with relevant laws and requests time off to care for a sick child, they cannot be terminated solely for that request.
In some cases, an employee may be able to bring a claim of unlawful termination based on fraudulent concealment. Fraudulent concealment occurs when the employer intentionally misleads the employee regarding their job responsibilities. For example, fraudulent concealment may occur if an employee leaves a former position to accept a position where the employer intended on firing all new employees after a certain job was completed and this was not disclosed.
If an employee is wrongfully terminated, their former employer may be required to compensate them for their loss. This may include:
- Back pay;
- Reinstatement to their prior position;
- Paying monetary compensation; and
- Various other forms of relief.
What are Some Other Issues Related to Wrongful Termination?
Most employment positions are considered at-will employment. This means that the employee is hired for an unspecified amount of time and during this time the employer has the right to terminate them at any point without cause. In an at-will employment arrangement, without cause implies that an employee may be fired for any reason or for no reason at all, as long as the reason is not illegal or unlawful.
The laws regarding at-will employment may vary by state. However, in general, the following are not permitted as a reasons for terminating an employee:
- Discrimination, or termination based on:
- age; and
- Breach of an employment contract; and
- Public policy exceptions, including retaliatory termination or whistleblowing.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Wrongful Termination Case?
It is essential to have a lawyer on your side for a wrongful termination case. The laws governing wrongful termination may vary by state. Your lawyer will be able to review your case, advise you regarding applicable laws, and assist you in filing a lawsuit against your former employer.
It may be extremely difficult to prove a wrongful termination case, especially based on retaliatory discharge. Your employer may have the advantage of being able to claim you were terminated for a legal reason. In addition, many employers have the resources to fight such claims in court. Having a wrongful termination lawyer on your side will greatly increase your chances of receiving compensation if you were illegally terminated from your job.