Most states, including Delaware, are at-will employment states. In general, that means that employers can terminate employees with or without reason.
However, there are several exceptions to that concept. When wrongful termination occurs, former employees may consider filing a claim for reinstatement or compensation.
Protections in place against wrongful termination in Delaware
The court does not allow employers to terminate employees under these conditions:
- If the reason for termination amounts to any form of discrimination outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- If the employee is a whistleblower
- If the reason for termination breaches the terms of the employee’s contract with the business
To file a claim, you must gather the proper evidence and contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the incident.
Civic duties protected against wrongful termination
State and federal law also protect people from wrongful termination while performing the following civic duties:
- Employees on 12-week unpaid family and medical leave have protection under the Family Medical Leave Act. The laws mandated by the FMLA only apply to companies that have 50 or more employees.
- Employees can take up to five years of leave to serve in the military forces. This also protects servicemembers for up to a year once they return.
- Employers cannot terminate an employee required to serve jury duty. Doing so may result in criminal penalties in addition to compensating the employee.
Sometimes employers may terminate you without stating an official reason, but that does not mean it was lawful. You may receive compensation if you can prove the actual reason was wrongful.