Were You Wrongfully Terminated? Know Your Rights

When an employer feels that one of their workers is no longer needed or has violated company policies, they have all the right to terminate that employee for just cause. Generally, most companies hire employees “at-will” which means they can be fired at any time for a valid reason. But just because employees have such status does not give employers the right to terminate them for any reason.

According to the website of the Leichter Law Firm, an employee who was wrongfully terminated by their employer has the right to sue their company and receive compensation in the process. But when is a termination considered wrongful? Here are some grounds that will justify the filing of a wrongful termination case:

Written Promises
If you signed a contract or other statement that ensures your job security, then you have a case against your employer that you are not an at-will employee. If it is stipulated in the contract that you can only be fired for a valid reason then you might be able to claim damages for being illegally terminated.

Implied Promises
Your contract might also have some other provisions that exempt you from the “employee at-will” provision. These promises are based on things that your employer might have said and did regarding your employment. In determining the existence of implied promises, the court will look at the following:

  • Duration of your employment
  • Regularity of promotions
  • History of positive performance reviews
  • Promise of continuous employment upon hiring
  • Employer’s violation of a usual employment practice in terminating you such as not giving a warning

If you were untreated unfairly by your employer, you may have grounds to make them liable for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing. Examples of unfair treatment include:

  • Misleading employees about their chances for promotion and wage increase
  • Repeatedly transferring you to remote, dangerous, or undesirable assignments to force you to quit without being able to collect severance pay or other benefits
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