You feel a tap on your shoulder and look up from your work. Your supervisor is standing behind you, holding a cardboard box and flanked by security. For most people, that is the first and only warning they receive when getting fired.
It is a humiliating experience in even the best of circumstances. And when you suspect you are getting fired for illegal reasons, it is even worse. While there is usually nothing you can do to get your job back, you can get compensation for being wrongfully terminated.
To receive the compensation you deserve, use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your wrongful termination claim with the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.
Understanding Wrongful Termination
Employment is considered to be at least partially at will in every state in the country. This means that your employer does not need to provide a reason to fire you from your job. Many people assume this means that employees can be fired for any reason at all. But this is not the case.
Federal law makes it illegal to fire employees in certain circumstances. These circumstances are:
- Discrimination based on age, race, or gender
- Termination in violation of workplace rules
- Terminating a whistleblower
- Retaliation for legal behavior
- Firing a worker who refuses to engage in illegal behavior
If you have been fired for any of these reasons, you may file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer. Federal law allows you to receive both compensatory and punitive judgments as a result of the lawsuit.
Most Common Reasons for Wrongful Termination
Wrongful termination is disturbingly common in the U.S. Employers usually hold almost all of the power in an employer/employee relationship. As a result, employers usually believe they can do anything they want.
Furthermore, managers and supervisors often ignore company policy or employee handbooks when making firing decisions. This disregard for “red tape” is a violation of employee rights and the most common reason for wrongful termination. Even though your supervisor might have made an illegal decision, you still have the right to sue the company for that decision.
Discrimination is the next most common reason for wrongful termination. Workplace discrimination can often be shockingly blatant. Because many supervisors feel they are above repercussions, they will discriminate against some employees without trying to hide their actions. If they receive any pushback, they will often fire that employee illegally.
Suspicion of Wrongful Termination
Not all wrongful termination is obvious. Oftentimes, fired employees only have a suspicion that they were fired illegally.
If you have suspicions, you still have the right to act. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in workplace law. Your lawyer is more familiar with the law and common ways that workplaces violate the rights of employees.
The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can investigate the situation. Interviews with your previous coworkers or research into the employment practices of your ex-employer may result in evidence of malfeasance.
You have nothing to lose by consulting with a lawyer and potentially everything to lose if you don’t.