Losing a job is never easy. It can have a financial and personal impact in myriad ways. For Delaware residents who believe they were terminated for illegal reasons, it is important to know that there might be recourse.

People who are considering a lawsuit should analyze their circumstances and understand what is and is not wrongful termination. In general, U.S. workers are “at-will” employees meaning they can be fired for any reason provided there is no discrimination. A worker is not entitled to receive an explanation from an employer as to the reason for termination. Those who have a contract or are protected by a collective bargaining agreement are in a better position, but basically the employer can simply decide to fire someone and it is legal.

There are, however, examples that would be discriminatory. If the dismissal is due to a person’s sex, gender, race, religion, national origin, because he or she is disabled, is pregnant, is 40 or older, or because of genetic issues, there could be the basis to file a lawsuit. If there are other factors such as sexual harassment or reporting wrongdoing as a whistleblower, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be asked to address the situation.

When thinking about a lawsuit, it is wise to consider if discrimination took place; to know the goal of a lawsuit such as recovering financially or getting rehired; and to decide if the time-consuming nature and financial investment is worth it. People dealing with the emotionally troubling and financially problematic aftermath of being fired from a job might need experienced legal advice to decide if there was an unlawful termination.