How to Fight Back Against Wrongful Termination - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

How to Fight Back Against Wrongful Termination

Employers cannot illegally fire you from a job, but in the United States, workers in almost every state are at-will employees. At-will employment means that the employer can, at any time and for any reason, terminate your employment.

But there are times when wrongful termination takes place.

The times when you cannot be fired include:

  • Taking time to vote
  • Jury duty

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, your employer cannot fire you. Employers cannot fire employees who refuse to break the law or lie on behalf of the employer. Public policy also protects whistleblowers.

Employees who believe that they’ve been wrongfully terminated will want to consult with a lawyer to ensure that they have a case.

The most difficult part of the process is being able to prove that the termination was wrongful.

If you have proof, filing a claim is the easy part.

A few circumstances wherein an employer cannot legally fire you include:

Cases of Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee for:

  • Age
  • Skin color
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Race

If a woman is pregnant, she cannot be fired due to her pregnancy. The employer may be able to lighten the employee’s workload if the work being done is detrimental to the health of the employee or her child.

Employment Contract Breaches

Entering into a contract for employment is often only done for upper management and executives. These individuals are vital to a company’s operation, and the employment contract ensures that they remain with a company for a set period of time.

If the employee follows all of the terms of the contract, the employer cannot terminate the contract legally.

Termination can only occur when the employee was in direct violation of the contract terms.

Verbal contracts or promises can also be enforced, but the burden of proof falls on the employee. If the employee was told that they would be guaranteed a position for two years but were fired after one year, the “contract” still exists if you can prove it.

Working to Improve Conditions

Employees have a right to join unions and engage in “protected concerted activity.” What this means is that the employee cannot be fired for trying to bond together and improve working conditions of all employees.

But this does not mean that the employee can vent about management and not be reprimanded for it.

Retaliation is also illegal, and an employer cannot fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or reported a safety violation at work. The employer can also not terminate you if you file a harassment claim against anyone in the workplace.

Preparing for your case is all about understanding what transpired that led to your dismissal. If you were terminated due to always being late and not meeting deadlines, the employer has a right to terminate you. But if the employer claims the termination was due to being late or for not meeting the job description and you can prove otherwise, you’ll be able to win a wrongful dismissal case in court.

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