Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires you because of your sex, race,
religion, or a myriad of other types of discrimination. Most employment in the United States is “at-will” employees. This means that an employer can hire or fire individuals when they choose and for any reason. However, in some cases, the termination is illegal and violates state or federal laws on employment. If there is a written employment contract, any violation or deviation from the contract could be grounds for a lawsuit.

In these cases, the employee can file suit stating the wrongdoing in detail and demand that the contract is honored. These cases are called “wrongful termination” suits, and they cover a variety of different circumstances. Each state has its laws covering cases involving wrongful termination, and the criteria for filing a claim may fluctuate significantly.

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Examples of Wrongful Termination

Discrimination –

  • Both state and federal laws prohibit discrimination based on age, sex, race, religion, disability, and national origin. If you believe any of these were a factor in your termination, you must be ready to prove the employer fired you for factors other than poor performance or poor attendance.

Medical condition –

  • An employer cannot terminate your employment simply because you developed a medical condition.

Performance of legal rights or public policy issues – Employers cannot

  • Terminate you if you choose to form a union or report a safety violation.
  • They cannot terminate if you are required to perform jury duty or other public services.

Contract rights and policy issues – Employers cannot

  • Violate the requirements of an employment contract nor any policy stated in an employee manual or handbook.


How do You File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination?

As a plaintiff, you are required to take several actions to provide information to file a suit. The human resources department of your employer can supply the number of documents you will need. To file a case, you must follow these basic steps:

  • Formally request a reason for termination from the company’s human resources department.
  • Compose a grievance letter disputing the reasons for the termination.
  • Put together a file of pertinent documents regarding your employment, including employment contracts, union contracts, employee manuals, personnel files with employee evaluations, and any other correspondence you have received regarding your employment. Your file should also contain pay stubs and financial records detailing how the termination affected your finances.
  • It’s wise to list co-workers who can potentially be called as witnesses to the employment circumstances.
  • Document all emails, letters, phone calls, or other correspondence from the company.
  • If possible, talk to other employees who were also terminated from the company.

More information you can document will help the attorney successfully handle your matter.