For most people, retaining gainful employment is the only means of paying bills and covering other living expenses. Consequently, being terminated unexpectedly can have a detrimental effect. Individuals can quickly go from leading a comfortable lifestyle to struggling to cover the daily costs of living.
It is common for individuals to feel helpless in such a scenario; however, it is important to note that there are options in place for holding employers to account.
What is wrongful termination?
Despite discrepancies between cases, all wrongful termination cases are grounded in discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Employers are not allowed to fire people based on any of these factors. To clarify, you cannot be fired because of your race, because you won’t tolerate sexual abuse or because you have reported illegal activity in the workplace or engaged in other protected activities, like filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If any of these factors (among others) have been mentioned during your termination, you have a potential claim for wrongful termination. Even if you merely suspect that your termination was based on discrimination or retaliation, you may have a case.
How can you prove your case?
Keeping a detailed record of events may help you tie your termination to one of the previously discussed scenarios. Archives that show satisfactory job performance in the past may also be useful. Importantly, these could display that there was no viable reason to fire you and it must have been based on one of the protected characteristics or behaviors.
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the law surrounding wrongful termination. Employment is such a key part of day-to-day life and it is essential to feel protected from discrimination and unlawful activity. Employees have responsibilities and duties, but they also have rights. An employer cannot simply act with impunity in violation of the law.