Definition of Wrongful Termination:
Whenever an employee is terminated from their job for reasons other than their job performance and it breaches the employment contract, it is considered as wrongful termination.
In case of at-will employment, where the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship without a reason, it is an exception as long as the dismissal does not breach the company policy or laws.
What are some reasons for Wrongful Termination protected by law?
Law protects employee Termination due to the following cases:
- When the employer breaches contract: When the termination breaches the employment contract or does not abide by the company policy.
- Termination on the basis of harassment and Insults: Insulting comments based on race, religion, sexual orientation, unwelcome advances, retaliation based on response all come under this. It includes all acts that make a hostile work environment.
- Whistle blowing: When an employee reports the wrongdoing of the employer to the concerned authorities, or collect evidence that can be used against the company.
- Constructive dismissal or discharge: When the employer manipulates scenarios that can force the employee to quit. Examples include demotion of the employee or pay cut without reason.
- Retaliation to employee complaints: When employees complain about illegal behaviour, discrimination, or exercising their rights as an employee.
- Violating the public policy: This happens when the termination violates certain public laws and policies meant for the wellbeing of the employee. When the employee is terminated during medical, maternity or paternity leave, it is a violation of public policy.
Handling wrongful Termination:
As a terminated employee, it is important to know your rights mentioned in the employment contract along with the federal laws that protect you. Review your contract once again and see if there have been any violations regarding wages, work hours, commissions etc. Talk to the HR department to know if you are entitled to receiving unemployment and other benefits and look for answers to your questions. Once you are certain that you have been wrongfully terminated, you need to
- Gather all documentation, every written communication that is necessary to support your claim.
- Perform all the research that available about your situation and what options you are entitled to.
- Hire an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action and represent you if necessary.