Can you Sue for Wrongful Termination in Tennessee?

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Can you sue for wrongful Termination in Tennessee
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Wondering whether you can sue for wrongful termination in Tennessee?

The answer is Yes, you can definitely sue for wrongful termination in Tennessee.

Losing a job is a challenging experience, and when it happens under questionable circumstances, the impact can be even more profound.

Just like in several other states in the US, employees in Tennessee are protected by various labor laws.

However, understanding the complexities of wrongful termination and the legal recourse available is crucial.

Wrongful termination is when an employer fires a worker for an illegal reason, such as discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract.

In this article, we will explain what qualifies as wrongful termination in Tennessee, how to file a complaint, and what compensation you may be entitled to. Stay tuned!

Can you Sue for Wrongful Termination in Tennessee?

Yes, you can sue for wrongful termination in Tennessee.

If you believe you were unjustly fired, promptly consult with an employment attorney to clarify the basis for filing a compensation lawsuit.

Some cases may have a short window for filing a lawsuit, therefore you should act as soon as possible.

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination In Tennessee?

Just like most states in the US, Tennessee is an “at-will” state.

This means that an employer has a right to fire a worker at any time with or without a reason. But this does not mean they can dismiss an employee for unlawful grounds.

Employees have a legal protection from unfair dismissal by state and federal laws on wrongful termination.

If your employer broke any of these rules, you might be able to sue them for wrongful termination:

  • Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act (1984) in Title VII forbids employers from dismissing workers based on “protected classes.”

Some examples of categories within the  “protected classes” are race, sex, nationality, age, or religion.

  • Breach of Contract

You may be able to sue for wrongful termination if you were fired against the terms of a contract that says when they can fire you.

The contract can either be written or spoken.

However, proving violations of a verbal agreement can be tougher.

  • Retaliation

If you assert your rights under state or federal laws, your employer should not punish you.

For example, some individuals face unfair termination when they file for workers’ compensation, report workplace issues (such as unsafe conditions or harassment), or disclose illegal actions by the company (whistleblowing).

Retaliation extends beyond termination and may involve actions like reducing your pay, denying raises, cutting your hours, demoting you, transferring you to a different role suddenly, and more.

  • Public Policy Violations

Employers should not terminate workers for engaging in activities protected by public policies. This includes responsibilities like serving on a jury, exercising the right to vote, military service, or complying with shelter-in-place orders.

What to do if you are wrongfully terminated

If you’ve been unjustly terminated from your job, reach out to a skilled wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible.

Since you may have a short timeframe to initiate a legal or administrative claim.

Every wrongful termination case is unique and may have different timeframes for suing. Therefore, act swiftly to not miss out on finding justice.

Steps to take if you are wrongfully dismissed

Here are some actions to consider incase of a suspected wrongful termination:

  1. Examine your employment contract, if applicable.
  2. Ask for written clarification on the reasons for your termination and a documented list of individuals involved in the decision.
  3. Request a copy of your personnel file.
  4. Have a lawyer review any severance package offered to you.
  5. Avoid actions that could independently justify termination, such as speaking negatively about your employer during departure or mishandling company property, materials, or intellectual assets. Even if your termination was wrongful, your compensation for damages may be significantly restricted if your conduct provides a valid basis for termination.

How long do you have to sue for wrongful termination in Tennessee?

In the state of Tennessee, you have up to 180 days to sue for wrongful termination.

However, you can have up to 300 days to file a lawsuit if your dismissal is related to violations of federal and state civil rights including discrimination.

How to Sue an Employer for Wrongful Termination in Tennessee

If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully terminated, start by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

The EEOC will investigate to determine the validity of your claim. If they find supporting evidence, they will work to address the issue.

Once their investigation concludes, you may receive a Right To Sue letter, granting you the option to initiate a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Its therefore important to note that in Tennessee, the lawsuit must be filed within deadline extends to 300 days.

Your case’s circumstances may make you eligible for compensation.

Here are some of these compensations you may get in a wrongful termination case:

  • Back pay
  • Lost benefits repayment
  • Emotional distress damages, and in some cases
  • Punitive damages


In conclusion, wrongful termination is a serious issue that can affect your livelihood and well-being.

If you’re wondering whether you can sue for wrongful termination in Tennessee, the answer is yes, but it’s important to understand the state’s laws.

You therefore should act promptly, get legal advice, and be aware of the specific circumstances surrounding your case.

Furthermore, by knowing your rights and options, you can protect yourself from unlawful and unethical employers.

Also remember that consulting an employment attorney is a key step in making things right if you believe you’ve been unfairly fired.

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