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Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for some legally impermissible reason. In “at-will” employment jurisdictions, either an employer or an employee may terminate an employment relationship for any reason and at any time, unless a contract exists that specifies otherwise. In states that are not “at-will” employment states, there must be just cause for termination.
A majority of jurisdictions follow the at-will rule, but have limited the rule in its application. For example, some states prohibit employers from firing employees for actions that comply with public policy, while other states recognize an “implied contract” exception to the rule.
Employers may also not terminate an employee for certain discriminatory reasons. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In addition, it prohibits employers from taking retaliatory action against employees who complain about or report discriminatory practices. An employee who is terminated for a reason made unlawful under Title VII may be able to file suit against their employer.
Should I Hire a Wrongful Termination Attorney?
If you have believe that you may have been wrongfully terminated by an employer, you should contact an experienced wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible. A wrongful termination attorney can assist you by:
- Determining whether you have a claim
- Gathering evidence supporting your claim
- Filing suit against your employer
- Help you recoup lost income or other benefits
Employment laws are complex and vary from state to state, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney that practices employment law in your jurisdiction.
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