After losing your job, you probably face a wide variety of questions. Will the loss of your job damage your career? Can you find a new position? How will you support yourself and your family? If you suspect that your employer fired you without reason, you may face one more question: was this termination “wrongful”?
What is wrongful termination?
While there are many legal reasons for employers to fire their employees, some companies terminate their employees based on discrimination. Illegal reasons for termination include:
- Discrimination—Employers who fire you as a result of your age, sex, sexuality, race, religion or disability have violated anti-discrimination laws.
- Sexual harassment—If you were fired as a result of refusing the sexual advances of another person or another form of sexual harassment, this firing would also be considered illegal.
- Retaliation—Employers who fire employees because they filed a complaint, made a workers’ compensation claim or made some other claim illegally retaliate against their employees
- Labor organization—You have the right to discuss union activities, join a union and address unfair labor practices, and employers who fire you because of those activities do so illegally.
In addition, termination that violates employment agreements—either written or spoken—would also be considered “wrongful.”
If you suspect that your position was terminated without legal reason, it can be helpful to speak to an attorney. They can help you document the circumstances surrounding your firing, guide you through your legal options and help you protect your rights as an employee.