How to Identify Wrongful Termination

If you, or someone you know, were recently terminated and you are unsure whether or not it would be considered wrongful termination, then keep reading. Wrongful termination happens all the time in workplaces throughout the country, but because many employer-employee relationships are based on ‘at-will’ employment terms it is not always easy to determine a case of wrongful termination.

What Are the Signs?

It is never easy to work out whether wrongful termination is due solely to that employee being a member of a protected class. So, in order to be sure your wrongful termination is due to you being a member of a protected class you have to provide sufficient proof that this was the reason for your termination. 

If you have been the victim of any kind of unfavorable treatment from your employer or coworkers as a result of characteristics that would associate you with a protected class and then your employment is terminated, you may be able to prove that your membership of a that particular protected class was the reason for you being terminated.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Your supervisor has expressed that s/he is racist or is prejudiced towards a certain race and you happen to be that race and you have at some point had your employment terminated. If this is what has happened to you and you have the evidence to prove it then you may have grounds to file for compensation from your employer as it has violated the law.
  2. Your employer firing you after you request reasonable accommodation for your disability is illegal. An employer is required by law to make reasonable accommodation for a disability, so if no negotiation takes place and you are terminated you are entitled to question the motives of your employer as behaving in this way is a violation of the law.
  3. Employees discussing unionization who are then fired is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act. Employees cannot be fired for communicating about a “protected concerted activity” which means things like talking with co-workers about ways to improve wages or working conditions. You don’t have to be a union member to be protected under this federal law. If you believe your boss fired you in response to protected concerted activity, you might be eligible to file a wrongfully termination claim.
  4. An employee who is fired for exposing the company’s illegal behavior may be classified as unlawful because the employee is allowed to be a whistle blower without the fear of retaliation from the employer.
  5. An employee is fired for demanding wages earned that haven’t been paid is definitely a violation of Wages and Hours Laws which are set by the Federal Labor Standards Act. This is considered wage theft and you can file a claim for compensation to get your wage theft paid and an amount for the wrongful termination. In order to ensure your claim is successful you will need to gather appropriate evidence that shows you were terminated due to a protected characteristic.

What to Do Next?

If you suspect your employer fired you for an illegal reason, your next step should be contacting an attorney to help sort out your case. This is because wrongful termination cases are not always easy to prove.

In order to be eligible to file a compensation claim for wrongful termination, you need to have been fired for an illegal reason, such as discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic which could be any of the following:

  • ethnicity,
  • national origin,
  • religion,
  • gender,
  • pregnancy,
  • disability,
  • aged over 40 years.

Filing a case can be complicated and having an attorney to help you will lessen the stress for you and help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for being a victim of wrongful termination. You can expect to get a much better settlement if a lawyer helps you through the process.

Most attorneys don’t ask for any fees until your wrongful termination has been settled. Your chosen attorney will advise you of your chances of winning your wrongful termination claim and how much compensation you can expect to receive. Attorneys prefer out of court settlements if negotiations with the employer are successful.

Get Help Today

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should fill out a Free Case Evaluation form to get in touch with a lawyer that takes cases in your area today. There is a statute of limitations for filing a claim, so don’t delay!

Additional Resources