Wrongful termination is when an employer unlawfully ends a worker’s employment. This act may be against the law due to a violation of federal or state laws, breach of employment contract, or goes against public policy. Employers must understand the grounds for wrongful termination lawsuits to avoid legal repercussions.
Discrimination forms a significant basis for wrongful termination lawsuits. Federal laws prohibit employers from terminating employees based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age (if the employee is at least 40), disability, or genetic information. These protected classes are safeguarded under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Harassment is another form of wrongful termination. It occurs when an employee is fired after enduring persistent offensive behavior based on their protected class status.
Retaliation happens when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. This punishment can include firing, demotion, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment.
For instance, if an employee complains about safety violations in the workplace to OSHA and subsequently faces termination, it may be a case of wrongful termination due to retaliation.
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract is a common ground for wrongful termination. It happens when an employer does not adhere to the terms set out in an employment contract.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. An employer cannot fire an employee for taking FMLA leave. A wrongful termination lawsuit may arise if an employer terminates an employee for taking maternity leave or time off to care for a sick family member.
Employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. If an employer fires an employee because they requested or used a reasonable accommodation, it may be a wrongful termination.
How a Lawyer Can Help in Wrongful Termination Cases?
In wrongful termination cases, a lawyer’s experience can be immensely beneficial. Lawyers provide multiple services that can aid an individual who believes they have been wrongfully terminated.
Legal Advice and Case Evaluation
A lawyer can offer valuable legal advice. They know about employment laws extensively and can determine if your rights were violated. They will review the facts, assess the evidence, and honestly evaluate whether you have a valid claim.
Lawyers have experience and skills in gathering evidence to support your case. They can help identify and collect crucial documents such as employment contracts, company policies, performance reviews, and email correspondence. A lawyer can also gather witness statements and other forms of evidence that can strengthen your claim.
Representation in Court
If your case goes to court, a lawyer will represent you. They will present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf. They understand court procedures and rules essential for a successful case.
A lawyer can negotiate with your employer or their legal representation. They can help you secure a fair settlement. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who know how to counter-arguments and protect your interests.
Filing a Complaint
A lawyer can guide you if you need to file a complaint with a government agency. They can ensure your complaint is filed correctly and within the required time frame.
Protection Against Retaliation
A lawyer can protect you against retaliation from your former employer. If your employer retaliates because you filed a lawsuit, a lawyer can help you take further legal action.
A South Jersey Employment Lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Help You With a Wrongful Termination Case
If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, speak with a South Jersey employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.