Wrongful termination can happen to any employee, even executives. There are laws in place to protect executives like other employees from wrongful termination. Many executives may have shown years of loyalty and commitment to their company and even exceeded required targets. Despite this, there are several reasons why an executive could be wrongfully terminated. It could be that a new CEO or Chairman has been hired and wants his or her own team which doesn’t include the executive. Maybe the company is changing its direction and an executive doesn’t fit this “new direction”. It may even be race, gender or age that no longer fits the company’s culture. Often times these terminations are wrongful and with the right evidence compensation can be awarded for wrongful termination.
Illegal Reasons for Termination
There are several reasons for wrongfully terminating an executive. These are:
- discrimination based on age, gender, religion or race;
- the executive was a whistleblower;
- violation of public policy could arise if the executive is fired in retaliation for calling attention to unsafe conditions or to fraud or other illegal actions that have taken place at the company.
Even if you are terminated in an “at-will” state where both the executive and the employer can terminate the employment arrangement without giving notice or a reason the termination cannot taken place if it is illegal according to the state or federal law such as based on age, gender or race. To prove that you were wrongfully terminated it is important to get sufficient evidence that shows the wrongful termination is illegal. This can be reports by work colleagues who have observed that discrimination in some form has caused the wrongful termination, text messages or phone calls heard or viewed by you the executive or work colleagues indicating the reasons why you are going to be fired.
Damages That Can Be Sought by Executives
If the executive wins a wrongful termination claim there are damages that executives can claim in a wrongful termination claim. These include:
- receiving lost wages from the time the executive ceased work to the time wrongful termination has been won;
- being paid any unpaid benefits from the date of leaving the job to winning a wrongful termination claim;
- an amount calculated for emotional distress caused by the wrongful termination;
- attorney fees;
- punitive damages if the court decides the executive has been deliberately wrongfully terminated by the company despite the reason being illegal.
Get Started on Your Wrongful Termination Case Today
Under the federal government’s anti-discrimination laws, an employee including an executive has 180 days from the termination date to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. This will trigger an investigation that may lead to a notice of right to sue, which allow the executives to bring civil actions in court. However, in order to have a high chance of winning a claim you should talk to an attorney first.
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