Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Michigan?
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Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Michigan?
It is very frustrating to lose your job, regardless of the circumstances. This unexpected incident can raise many different questions for you, and you might be wondering, "Can you sue for wrongful termination in Michigan?"
In certain situations, you may be eligible to sue for wrongful termination, but it depends on your state's employment laws and the circumstances under which you were terminated.
The experienced lawyers at Morgan & Morgan can assist you with this process and can provide you with further information on how best to proceed if you find yourself in this situation. Most people who are dealing with wrongful termination or suspected wrongful termination have plenty of questions, and the sooner that you can speak with a lawyer, the easier it will be for you to decide how to proceed with a legal case.
Not every instance of being terminated from your job will necessarily lead to a wrongful termination case. You may need to come forward with all of your possible evidence and discuss this with the lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to figure out if you can sue for wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination lawsuits in Michigan are possible, but you should meet with an experienced and qualified lawyer like those working at Morgan & Morgan to discuss the specifics of your case.
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How Is Wrongful Termination Defined in Michigan?
Michigan labor laws are very similar to other states. Michigan defines wrongful termination as the dismissal of at least one employee for reasons that are either unauthorized or illegal. Michigan laws do follow what is known as “at-will” employment, which means that your employer can choose to terminate you for any reason at any time.
However, there are labor laws in Michigan that provide some exceptions to the standard of employment. So can you sue for wrongful termination in Michigan? Yes, depending on the circumstances of your firing.
What Is At-Will Employment?
At-will employment means that the employer can dismiss an employee at any time and that an employee can leave the job at any time, except for reasons deemed to be unlawful or discriminatory. There are many different kinds of situations of wrongful termination that could be considered state labor law violations. For example, if a Michigan employer dismisses an employee in a way that violates the company's termination procedures and policies or breaches the terms of the employee's employment contract, this could lead to a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Likewise, if the employee was terminated because of a protected status, and the employee has proof of this, this could lead to a wrongful termination lawsuit. Any termination of an employee for any reason that might violate state or local laws in Michigan or federal laws is illegal. It is very important to understand that there may be special stipulations in a contract that specify termination procedures, unjust charges for dismissal, and the duration of employment.
How Do I Prove Grounds for Wrongful Termination?
There are explicit exclusions in Michigan's at-will employment laws when a termination is deemed unlawful or wrongful. In general, employers are protected under Michigan's at-will employment laws from liability because they're able to terminate at-will employees for virtually any reason and at any point in time throughout their employment. However, they cannot violate public policy or law.
At-will employees are also protected from violation of labor laws and wrongful termination. There are four primary examples of violation of these laws, meaning that you can sue for wrongful termination in Michigan. These include:
Breach of contract. Both oral and written contracts in Michigan are binding on all contracting parties. This means that if an employer violates the terms of an employment contract, or a collective bargaining agreement when dismissing an employee, there may be a basis for a wrongful termination suit.
Violation of public policy. If the employer has requested that the employee carry out an illegal task, or the employee was planning to report unsafe working conditions, then an at-will employee may still have grounds to sue a Michigan employer for wrongful termination because the actions of the employer violated public policy.
Employment discrimination. Like hiring practices, wrongful termination lawsuits brought under state and federal labor laws are eligible for those employees terminated for discriminatory reasons. Some of the most common examples of termination for discriminatory purposes include sex, race, national origin, gender identity, religious affiliation, color, marital status, weight, disability, or any other reason that violates protected class laws.
What Are My Possible Damages for Wrongful Termination?
An employee may be able to pursue a lawsuit against an employer with the help of dedicated employment attorneys, such as those working at Morgan & Morgan. Multiple legal options may be available to these employees if they're successful in the case. Some of the most common examples of legal remedies that an employee could recover include:
- Punitive damages
- Compensatory damages
- Injunctions against the employer
- Front or back pay in some situations
- Emotional damages
- Liquidated damages
- Court order to amend company procedures and policies
- Reinstatement to their former position
What Else Can I Recover in a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?
In some cases, you may also be able to recover attorney fees and court costs. It is very important to identify an experienced and dedicated law firm to help you with this process, as there is a lot on the line when it comes to recovering compensation. Employment laws are notoriously complex even when you believe you have very clear grounds to pursue a case against an employer who has carried out wrongful termination.
It can be very difficult to prove claims of wrongful termination because there are no specific/strict elements of proof required in Michigan for identifying whether a termination is wrongful. There are many different legal issues incorporated under a typical employment case, and it often requires extensive knowledge of federal, state, and local laws.
There are many complex legal procedures also at play in wrongful termination lawsuits making it critical to identify a Michigan lawyer who has handled cases like this before. Your lawyer can sit down with you to review the evidence in your case and to discuss some of the specific remedies that may be available to you.
There are many different questions that must be answered in a wrongful termination suit and the sooner you can identify a lawyer who is confident in your ability to proceed with the suit, the more confident you will feel moving forward. Make sure that you have appropriate evidence to support your claim of wrongful termination, especially if you reported any safety violations that threatened your health, and this was the reason that your employer retaliated against you.
Legal Claims vs. Complaints
There are also situations associated with oral promises made regarding the length of an employment. An employee may still have a right to a wrongful termination lawsuit if an employer promises not to end employment for a specific period of time. Once you have gathered associated materials as proof of a wrongful termination claim, you can also file one through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
It is very common that people in this position have many different questions around how filing a claim with the EEOC is different from civil lawsuits and so on. Identifying lawyers who have been through this situation before and who can help you in this process is extremely vital towards carving a path towards the future.
Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me?
If you are a whistleblower and have reported unsafe working conditions to someone like law enforcement or if you took steps to report legal behavior, you might be classified as a whistleblower.
Employers are forbidden from taking retaliatory action against you, but some might still try in order to cause problems. This means it's so important to discuss your rights and next steps with an experienced lawyer who can tell you more about fighting back.
Your employer cannot demote you, terminate you, or otherwise discriminate against you for reporting specific things that fall under whistleblower law. But in order to know how to proceed and what counts in these situations, you need an attorney who can look at the specific facts of your case.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
If you believe that you have grounds for an employment lawsuit against your former boss or company for wrongful termination, don't take any action until you've spoken with Morgan & Morgan.
The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan know what is at stake and how devastating it can be for you to lose your employment. Finding the right attorney to help you navigate this situation can make a big difference in the outcome of your case and in your overall confidence in the management of this case. Reach out today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.