What Qualifies for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?

Wrongful termination denotes the illegal firing of an employee by an employer.

Certain legal safeguards deter unjust or discriminatory dismissals, even though several US states typically deem employment at-will.

Continue reading to find out what qualifies for a wrongful termination lawsuit and more.

Additionally, this article will provide crucial information that a worker should have in mind before filing a lawsuit.

As the discussions here are general, a Wrongful Termination Lawyer can provide more specific information and expert advice for your case.

A photo illustrating what qualifies for wrongful termination
Source: Geiger-legal

What Qualifies for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?

1. Wrongful Termination Based on Discrimination

This form of wrongful termination arises when an employee is dismissed because of their affiliation with a protected group.

These protected groups include characteristics such as race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

Employers are obligated to make employment decisions purely based on job-related criteria and performance.

An employee may be able to sue for wrongful termination if they can prove that their termination was based on discrimination.

2. Violation of Employment Contract

When an employment contract is in place, wrongful termination can occur if an employer fails to uphold its terms.

These contracts often specify conditions for termination, such as notice periods or valid reasons for dismissal.

If an employer disregards these terms without adequate justification or following proper procedures, the discharged employee can pursue a wrongful termination case on the basis of contract violation.

3. Retaliation Against Protected Actions

Workers have a right to participate in protected actions, such as making a complaint about workplace harassment or discrimination, joining an inquiry, or exercising labor entitlements.

Retaliation happens when an employer punishes a worker for doing such protected activities.

An employee can sue for wrongful termination if they can prove that their firing was caused by their involvement in a protected activity.

4. Breaches of Public Policy

Some regions allow wrongful termination claims based on public policy violations.

This means that an employer cannot dismiss a worker for reasons that go against public policy.

Examples of these reasons are: firing someone for exposing illegal activities, rejecting to join in unlawful actions, or using legal rights.

Wrongful termination lawsuits based on public policy violations need a strong connection between the employee’s actions and the public policy matter involved.

5. Constructive Discharge

Constructive discharge occurs when an employer makes a hostile work environment that pushes a worker to quit.

Even though the employee officially resigns, the termination is seen as involuntary because of the unbearable work conditions.

To establish constructive discharge, the employee must demonstrate that the employer’s actions caused the work environment to be so hostile that they had to leave the company.

Wrongful termination lawsuits in such cases may work if the employee can strongly back up their claims.

Other Aspects to Understand for Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

To pursue wrongful termination lawsuits must have a clear reason to file this case, and they must also know the following factors:

  • Various wrongful termination lawsuits can be resolved through different means: 

What qualifies for a wrongful termination case determines how these lawsuits may be resolved through various proceedings, such as mediation, arbitration, etc.

For instance, a contract between an employer and a worker may require that any conflicts between them must go to mediation before trial.

In other situations, there may be no such requirement, and a case may proceed to trial.

The main point here is that it’s advisable to talk to a skilled lawyer to learn more about what you should anticipate in terms of the future legal process needed for resolving your case.

  • Different damages may be accessible to the person who was wrongfully terminated 

The settlements in a successful wrongful termination lawsuit can cover damages for different kinds of losses.

However, this usually highly depends on the details of the case at hand.

Some of the more usual types of damages in wrongful termination settlements are (but not limited to) payment for back pay, front pay, and lawyer’s fees.

Besides such compensatory damages, it may also be feasible to ask for and get punitive damages as part of wrongful termination settlements.


In conclusion, understanding what qualifies for a wrongful termination lawsuit is essential for both employees and employers.

Whether it’s discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, violation of public policy, or constructive discharge, there are legal protections in place to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Employees who believe they have been wrongfully terminated should seek legal advice to assess their options and protect their rights.

By being informed and proactive, individuals can navigate the complexities of employment law and seek justice in cases of unjust firing.

Furthermore, should you suspect wrongful termination, seek guidance from a reputable wrongful termination attorney.

A lawyer can help you evaluate your case, gather evidence, and pursue the best course of action for your situation.

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