How to File for Wrongful Termination

Learn How to File for Wrongful Termination.

Justice begins with reporting unjust termination.

Employees who have been terminated, whether through firing, layoffs, or coerced resignations for illegitimate reasons, have the opportunity to pursue a successful lawsuit for wrongful termination.

It’s important to note that the final determination of the legality of a termination should not be left solely to the former employer.

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Filling for Wrongful Termination
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What Constitutes Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination, also referred to as wrongful dismissal or wrongful discharge, entails the unlawful firing or removal of an employee.

To establish a valid wrongful termination claim, employees must demonstrate that their rights were violated.

This goes beyond merely showing that they were treated unfairly. It requires proving that the employer breached federal or state agency regulations, such as those enforced by the U.S.

Department of Labor (DOL) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 49 out of 50 U.S. states assume ‘at-will employment.’

Montana is the sole exception, although its laws are similar to those of other states.

Under an at-will system, employers have significant discretion in hiring and firing decisions and do not necessarily need a ‘good’ or ‘fair’ reason to terminate an at-will employee.

However, they cannot terminate an employee for unlawful reasons.

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How to File a Wrongful Termination
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When Can You File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?

If you were terminated, laid off, or pressured to resign for unlawful reasons, you have the opportunity to bring a successful wrongful termination lawsuit.

Your employer does not have the final say in determining the legality of the termination, and you have the option to file a lawsuit.

Wrongful termination claims can be based on various grounds, with the most common ones including:

  1. Claims of employment discrimination.
  2. Violation of public policy.
  3. Retaliation for whistleblowing.
  4. Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  5. Retaliation for taking protected medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  6. Breach of an employment contract, if one exists (either written or implied).

Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Laws Both federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on factors such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, or religious affiliation.

These anti-discrimination laws apply to all aspects of employment, including hiring, performance evaluations, promotions, demotions, and terminations.

Sexual Harassment Claims

In cases involving sexual harassment claims, many wrongful termination lawsuits revolve around allegations of retaliation.

Federal law prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees who report sexual harassment, hostile work conditions to human resources, file discrimination complaints, or testify as witnesses in other employees’ lawsuits.

If you reported sexual harassment and were subsequently terminated or laid off, you may have experienced wrongful termination.

Proving Wrongful Termination Wrongful termination cases are often intricate.

Employers are generally aware that they cannot terminate employees on discriminatory grounds or in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment.

Consequently, they may attempt to conceal their true motives with pretexts, such as citing ‘performance’ issues as the reason for termination.

How can you establish wrongful termination?

Similar to other employment lawsuits, a successful wrongful termination claim hinges on the presence of substantial supporting evidence.

Collecting Evidence to Support Your Claims.

The specific types of evidence required will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

It could encompass witness statements, text messages, emails, or admissions of guilt by the offending party.

Many retaliation cases also rely on a legal concept called ‘temporary proximity.’

If an employee was terminated or treated unfairly shortly after reporting or complaining about sexual harassment.

It creates a rebuttable presumption that these two events are causally linked.

Seek an Experienced Wrongful Termination Attorney

If you find yourself a victim of wrongful termination, it’s advisable to use the Super Lawyers directory to locate a seasoned employment law attorney in your vicinity for legal guidance.

Many attorneys offer initial consultations at no cost to discuss the details of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What are the legal defenses against wrongful termination?

A.In cases involving breach of contract claims, your attorney will need to prove that either the employee’s contract remained intact without any violations or that the employee nullified the contract through their own conduct.

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