How to prove Wrongful Termination

Learn and discover how to prove Wrongful Termination.

Hence, establishing a case of unjust dismissal in a legal setting necessitates demonstrating that the termination stemmed from a violation of the law, such as discrimination or retaliation, rather than a mere disagreement between an employee and their colleague or supervisor.

To substantiate a wrongful termination claim, the terminated employee typically must establish that the employer’s provided cause for the firing was untrue and that the dismissal was based on an unlawful motive.

This wrongful motive can manifest as:

  1. Unlawful retaliation,
  2. Discrimination,
  3. Breach of contract, or
  4. Violation of public policy.
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How to prove Wrongful Termination
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Definition of Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination refers to the firing of an employee for an unlawful cause.

Even individuals classified as at-will employees are safeguarded by both state and federal laws addressing wrongful termination.

Nonetheless, the burden of proving the wrongful nature of their dismissal falls upon the former employee.

Employers commonly assert that the termination occurred for a legitimate reason, such as:

  1. Subpar job performance,
  2. Workplace transgressions, or
  3. Repeated absenteeism.

Rarely will employers acknowledge terminating someone for an illegal rationale, making it often necessary to enlist the assistance of a seasoned employment attorney to uncover the evidence establishing the termination’s wrongful nature.

Varieties of Wrongful Termination Cases

Diverse categories of wrongful termination cases exist, even within the realm of at-will employment.

This is where employee rights and legal protections are relatively limited under state and federal laws.

These categories encompass situations such as:

  1. Violations of public policy, such as retaliating against an employee for exercising a legal right or engaging in whistleblowing activities,
  2. Instances involving fraud or misrepresentation,
  3. Breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and
  4. Breach of an implied contract for ongoing employment.

The specific components required to establish a wrongful termination case hinge on the nature of the termination itself.

For instance, substantiating a case based on fraud or misrepresentation demands distinct evidentiary elements compared to one centered around whistleblower retaliation.

Nonetheless, some common elements underlie various claims.

In most instances, the terminated employee must demonstrate the falsehood of the employer’s stated grounds for the dismissal.

This often necessitates the guidance of a proficient employment attorney.

Challenging Your Termination Reason

In most wrongful termination cases, employees must first prove that their employer’s stated reason for firing them is false.

Employers rarely admit to unlawful termination, so workers can present evidence like:

  • Client recommendations and reviews to counter claims of poor performance.
  • Punctuality records if absence led to termination.
  • Statements from coworkers refuting harassment allegations.
  • Evidence of a failure to follow company policies in the termination process.

This undermines the employer’s credibility, suggesting the real reason was unlawful.

However, employees must also demonstrate that the true reason violated the law, often requiring a wrongful termination attorney’s guidance.

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Proving Wrongful Termination
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Evidence of Wrongful Termination

Employees need to show their termination was unlawful. Evidence varies by claim but can include:

  • Statements by supervisors.
  • Relevant emails.
  • Knowledge of legally protected activity by supervisors.
  • Patterns of firing after similar actions.
  • Strong evidence: a short time between protected activity and termination, indicating potential wrongfulness.

Proving Wrongful Termination

Direct proof of discrimination or retaliation, like a clear-cut document, email, or text message stating, “we’re firing them due to their race/sexual orientation/disability, etc.,”

It is seldom obtainable, even though it’s arguably the most compelling evidence for a discrimination or retaliation case.

Nevertheless, alternative forms of evidence can be employed to substantiate wrongful termination and the associated violations.

These may involve the timing of events (e.g., a complaint followed by swift termination), witnesses to discriminatory remarks (offensive jokes, racial slurs, biased nicknames, etc.), a recurring practice of replacing one group of workers with another, differential treatment of employee classes, and more.

A seasoned employment attorney can help you evaluate if your specific employment and termination circumstances offer sufficient grounds to pursue a wrongful termination case.


Proving wrongful termination is a challenging but essential endeavor for employees who believe their employment was unlawfully terminated.

While direct evidence of discrimination or retaliation is rarely available, a variety of alternative evidentiary avenues can be explored, including the timing of events, witnesses to discriminatory behavior, and patterns of differential treatment.

Seeking the guidance of an experienced employment attorney is crucial for a comprehensive assessment of the evidence and the best course of action to pursue a wrongful termination case.

Successfully proving wrongful termination not only vindicates the rights of the affected employee but also serves to uphold the principles of fairness and justice in the workplace.

ALSO READ : How to File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

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