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Wrongful termination is more prevalent than many people realize. However, it’s also common for employees to think they’ve been unfairly dismissed when, in fact, there was a legitimate reason for their termination. Consequently, only about one in ten wrongful termination cases end in favor of the employee. If you believe you’ve been unjustly let go from your job, there are specific signs that suggest you have a strong legal case. In such situations, consulting with an employment law attorney can help you successfully navigate the lawsuit process.
Signs You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated
- Violation of Employment Contract: If your employer terminated you in a manner that breaches your employment contract, this is a strong sign of wrongful termination.
- Discrimination: Being fired based on age, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is illegal and constitutes wrongful termination.
- Retaliation: If you’ve recently filed a complaint or claim against the company and are then fired, it could be considered retaliatory and thus wrongful.
- Lack of Cause: In “at-will” employment states, an employer generally has the right to terminate without cause. However, this doesn’t apply if a contract states otherwise.
- Whistleblowing: If you were fired shortly after reporting illegal activities within the company, you could have been wrongfully terminated.
- Inadequate Documentation: Employers should keep detailed records of performance issues. A lack of this could indicate wrongful termination.
- Unfair Treatment: If you’ve been treated differently than others in similar situations, it might indicate that you’ve been wrongfully terminated.
- Violation of Company Policy: Employers should follow their own termination procedures. Failure to do so may be a sign of wrongful termination.
- Public Policy Violation: Being fired for taking time off to vote, serve on a jury, or perform military service is often considered wrongful.
- Constructive Discharge: If your employer creates unbearable working conditions forcing you to quit, this may also count as wrongful termination.
Your Employer Has Violated Implied Or Written Promises
When you begin a job, you enter into an agreement where you receive compensation in exchange for your work. Although the specifics of employment contracts may vary, if your employer terminates your contract before the agreed-upon period expires, you likely have grounds for unfair dismissal. Importantly, this holds true even if the terms of employment were discussed verbally rather than formalized in writing.Think you've been fired unfairly? Recognizing the signs of wrongful termination can be your first step toward justice. Learn what makes a dismissal unlawful and how to defend your career. #WrongfulTermination #KnowYourRightsClick To Tweet
This guidance also applies if you’ve sustained a personal injury and your employer has either explicitly promised or implicitly suggested that you could return to work, only to later terminate your contract because of the injury. It’s crucial to carefully review your employment contract, if you have one, to understand the specific terms related to injuries, leaves of absence, and sick days.
Your Termination Is Due To Discrimination
Workplace discrimination, which refers to unjust treatment based on factors like age, gender, race, or sexual orientation, is regrettably widespread. If you suspect your termination resulted from such discrimination, it’s essential to provide your attorney with any pertinent evidence to bolster your case. Your employer, in turn, will be obligated to demonstrate that the termination was for legitimate business reasons.
“In an ideal world, employers would prioritize the well-being of their employees. However, the reality is that many businesses are primarily focused on maximizing profits, often without regard for the consequences for their workforce. This focus has contributed to a global increase in wrongful termination cases over the past decade.” – The Basics of Battling An Employer In A Wrongful Termination Suit
Violations Of Public Policy
Numerous laws safeguard employees from termination for a variety of reasons, including jury duty, voting, military service, and maternity leave. If you’ve been let go under conditions that contravene these public policies, you have grounds for pursuing a case of unfair dismissal against your employer. Additionally, you cannot be terminated for refusing to engage in illegal activities at the request of your employer, as that would also violate your civic responsibilities.
Instances Of Defamation
Defamation refers to your reputation being put in jeopardy due to false accusations and statements. Spreading false facts about anyone is illegal. Therefore, if your employment dismissal is due to being defamed by colleagues or even your employer, you can file a lawsuit.
Various other instances are sure signs you have been unfairly dismissed. However, the best way to determine if you have a case is to consult an employment lawyer to evaluate your case. Be sure to provide your lawyer with as much evidence as possible so that they can compile a strong case for you. What’s more, it is always best to opt for an expert employment lawyer instead of a general lawyer as employment attorneys know all the ins and outs of employment law.