As the president of a company, job security seemed like the last thing you had to worry about. Can a president be fired without cause? Even a president is covered by an employment principle called at-will employment, which allows employers to fire workers without having to provide a reason for termination. However, wrongfully terminated as a president is grounds for the filing of a complaint and possibly a civil lawsuit.
Can a President Be Fired Without Cause?
Working under an at-will employment arrangement means your employer does not have to have a reason for letting you go as president of a company or nonprofit organization. For example, if you held the position of president, your employer can let you go without providing you with any word of your termination before you lose your job. Maybe your employer wanted to downsize the number of executive positions by consolidating your job duties with another position to save money on labor costs.
The only time when an employer violates an at-will employment arrangement is when it involves committing one or more illegal acts that cause a president to be terminated.
What is Considered Wrongful Termination?
A president can have a valid case of wrongful termination under three circumstances. First, you cannot be terminated because of several anti-discrimination factors covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The historic law makes it unlawful for an employer to fire a worker because of factors such as race, gender, disability, and national origin. If you experienced discrimination as president of a company or nonprofit, you might have a strong enough case to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
The board of directors of your company or nonprofit organization cannot terminate you as an act of retaliation for your role as a whistleblower. Federal law, as well as statutes passed by many states, prohibits an employer from firing workers because they communicated with a government agency concerning a violation of one or more laws. As the president of your organization, you might have signed an employment contract before assuming a leadership role. Your employer commits an act of wrongful termination by violating one or more terms of your employment contract.
What Damages Are Included in a President Wrongful Termination Claim
If you were wrongfully terminated as the president of a company or nonprofit organization, you have the legal right to file a claim or civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Monetary damages for a wrongful termination claim include special compensatory, genal compensatory, and punitive damages.
Special compensatory damages cover tangible financial losses. You can file a claim or civil lawsuit that recovers the back pay you would have earned while still employed as president. You also have the right to file a claim or civil lawsuit that recovers future wages because you might not be able to find a job for a certain period after termination.
Wrongful termination as president might cause you mental anguish and emotional distress because of the shame and embarrassment that can be triggered by losing your job. General compensatory damages do not come with a price tag. Instead, your employment attorney calculated a value for general compensatory damages based on the value of your economic damages. Punitive damages punish employers that wrongfully terminate a worker.
If you lost your job as president of a company or nonprofit organization, you should schedule a free case evaluation with an employment lawyer to determine if you are a victim of wrongful termination.