Is Wrongful Termination a Breach of Contract?

Submitted by rachel on Mon, 05/16/2022 - 10:17

If you signed an employment contract and your employer fired you without just cause, you might have a case of wrongful termination. Most employment contracts stipulate conditions when an employer and a contracted worker can end the employment relationship.

If either party does not honor the stipulations for termination written into the employment contract, then one of the parties has committed a breach of contract. Because employment contracts are in writing, it can be easy for an employment lawyer to determine whether you or your employer has committed a breach of contract.

Is Termination a Breach of Contract?

Even if you work under an employment contract, your employer can terminate you if the employer has a valid reason, which is otherwise known as the legal principle called “good cause.” Each state defines the meaning of good cause, but most good cause statutes include several common acts that allow employers to breach an employment contract.

Breach of contract examples allowed under the good cause legal principle include frequent tardiness, poor job performance, and refusing to follow instructions. If you missed more days of work that is allowed under the employment contract, your employer has the right to take disciplinary action that can include terminating your employment contract.

Good cause also covers acts prohibited by your employer as listed in the employee handbook. Common banned acts in the workplace include possessing a weapon, committing acts of theft, and putting other workers in danger of getting involved in a workplace accident.

Employers breach employment contracts illegally when they do not treat a worker fairly. In this case, a breach of contract constitutes an act of wrongful termination. Your employer cannot breach an employment contract to prevent you from collecting sales commissions.

Another common breach of an employment contract involves an employer firing a worker before the worker’s retirement benefits vest. Your employer cannot fabricate evidence to make it appear that you have a consistent record of delivering poor performance at work.

Can I Sue My Employer for Breach of Contract?

If you gather and organize plenty of physical evidence of an employment contract breach, you might be able to recover financial losses by filing a civil lawsuit. The contract offers the most convincing form of physical evidence because it stipulates terms both you and your employer must follow to honor the employment contract.

Working with an employment attorney can help you file the strongest civil lawsuit possible to make your employer pay for breaching the employment contract. You have the right to sue for lost wages, legal fees, and emotional distress.

You have other legal remedies as well that include rewriting the employment contract to account for changes in the employment relationship. Another remedy for a breached employment contract is to force your employer to change unlawful workplace policies. Payment for holidays and sick days not paid but granted under an employment contract can be given to a worker who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Get Help from a Wrongful Termination Lawyer

The employment lawyer that you hire to represent you may need to review a copy of the employment contract that you signed with your employer. After reviewing the employment contract, your attorney should be able to devise a plan to fight back against wrongful termination.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation today to get in touch with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.

Additional Resources