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What is “wrongful termination”?

The ability to provide for your family and earn a livelihood is important to everyone, which is why if you have been fired it can understandably cause considerable concern and uncertainty. Those who have been “wrongfully terminated” may wonder what legal resources are available to them. Wrongful termination laws can apply in a variety of circumstances and protect workers who have been fired in certain circumstances that may be illegal.

In general, employers have discretion concerning hiring and firing decisions of their employees. However, in certain circumstances, it may be illegal to do so and create a claim against the employer for wrongful termination. If the termination is in violation of federal law or an employment agreement, for instance, it may be considered wrongful termination. In addition, employers cannot fire an employee in retaliation for the employee reporting illegal activity, reporting harassment or discrimination and in some other circumstances, which is referred to as retaliatory termination and is prohibited.

Employers do not have absolute discretion to terminate employees and cannot terminate them for a reason that is discriminatory under federal, state or local laws. Firing an employee because of their race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability or because of a pregnancy is considered a discriminatory reason for firing the employee, which is prohibited by law. In some states, it is also considered discriminatory to fire an employee because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For workers who have been wrongfully terminated, a wrongful termination claim may help them recover back pay, compensatory damages, reinstatement or other remedies.

Source: Employment.findlaw.com, “What Is Wrongful Termination?” Accessed March 26, 2018

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