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Tips to Determine If You Were Wrongfully Terminated
Certain states have different laws in place to identify cases of wrongful termination. In states that have at-will employment laws, it may be even more difficult to determine what is or is not a wrongful termination case. However, certain federal laws ban employers from firing employees for a couple of reasons that are listed below.
Violation of employment agreements: If you and your employer have agreed to an employment contract, you are bound to that contract and the guidelines stated on it. If you were promised some form of job guarantee and were then fired despite that contractual guideline, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against your employer for a breach of contract.
Violation of federal anti-discrimination laws: An employer is not allowed to fire, discipline, refuse to hire, deny training, fail to promote, pay less or harass you based on your age, race, gender, national origin and/or religion. If you believe that you were terminated due to an employer’s judgment on your age, race, gender, national origin or religion, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination.
Retaliation for an employee’s complaint: If you filed a complaint against your employer and were terminated shortly after, you may have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. An employer is banned, by law, from firing you for reporting illegal activity within the company or filing a wage, safety or sexual harassment complaint.
Failure to comply with legal acts: An employer is not allowed to ask you to perform an illegal act. Federal and state laws rule over any internal company guidelines, which means that you cannot have your job terminated for complying with the law and failing to perform an illegal act requested by your employer.
If you have cause to believe that you were terminated for any of the reasons detailed above, you may seek legal assistance from an attorney that has specialized in wrongful termination cases in your state. Because these cases are typically very specific and vary according to each state, company and employee, only an attorney will be able to properly assess your eligibility for a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer.