Employment Law: Wrongful Termination

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According to the United States Department of Labor in 2008, there are were 154 million employed American workers, which out of these employees, any one of these individuals could potentially become the victim of  wrongful termination.  Employment wrongful termination, also colloquially known as wrongful dismissal, wrongful discharge, or wrongful termination of employment, encompasses the sector employment law where an employee is fired from a company for illegal or unethical reasons.  The federal government does have much legislation in regards to employment wrongful termination laws, especially in regards to the civil rights of individuals and fair pay of employees; however, the vast majority of wrongful termination cases are governed by the laws of the state where the employment occurred.  Only an employment attorney in your state can accurately inform you of your rights and potential compensation in regards to an employment wrongful termination case in your respective state.

Wrongful Termination Claims

 Almost always, an employee will start a wrongful termination claim following their termination of employment.  These claims must be submitted, with all accompanying documentation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the help of an experienced employment law attorney.  There is a strict statute of limitations in regards to filing wrongful termination claims with the EEOC, which mandates victims must act swiftly.  The time constraints for filing a wrongful termination claim are generally 180 days from the date of the termination or 300 days for violations deemed part of state and federal civil rights violations as a basis of the wrongful termination.  When filing a claim with the EEOC, victims and their representing employment counsel will be seeking one or both items from liable employers: reinstatement of past occupational positions without any retaliatory action for filing upheld claims or compensatory and punitive damages for liable actions during the wrongful termination by employers.   

Any number of actions can preclude an employment wrongful termination action by a company against their victim employees.  In the United States, a large number of claims are verified by violations of federal laws on a national level.  Additionally, state and local employment statutes will further offer wrongfully terminated employees other legal recourse for proving the wrongfully nature of their firing.

Types of Wrongful Termination

Some examples of wrongful termination of employment include the following:

  • Employers or other employees using defamation of character to warrant the dismissal of an employee
  • Discrimination based on age, race, sex, orientation, religion, or disability in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Wrongful termination in violation of contract agreements
  • Wrongful termination in violation of the normative firing procedures as stated by company handbooks, manuals, or in employment contracts
  • Wrongful dismissal on the grounds of negligent or any undesirable actions that the victim was not responsible for in any manner
  • Illegal firing in retaliation to whistle blowing actions, worker’s compensation claims, or other assertions of an employee’s legal rights
  • Violations of implied contract laws
  • Violations of public policy in regards to local, state, or federal statutes and laws
  • Wrongful termination through constructive discharge such as making working conditions so intolerable that the average and reasonable employee would refuse to further work at this capacity

Tools used to Combat Wrongful Termination

Documents an employment attorney will look at when pursuing your employment wrongful termination include all documentation relating to your past job performance, the circumstances and all documentable evidence surrounding your termination, deposition statements made under oath from potential witnesses, company memos, email communications, as well as all company handbooks, manuals, and any and all employment contracts, whether documented or implied.  All this information is then compared with existing local, state, and federal laws to determine the strength and efficacy of your employment wrongful termination case.

  •   If you feel you're the victim of a wrongful termination action by your past employer, contact an employment law attorney immediately to file your wrongful termination claims today.
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