Employers can terminate employees for reasons like poor performance and misconduct. And due to at-will employment laws, an employer can even fire someone for no reason at all.
However, employers cannot terminate someone for illegal reasons. Below are five common examples of wrongful termination.
1. Whistleblowing retaliation
An employer should not terminate someone for pointing out company violations. For example, an employee loses their job because they reported safety issues or spotted a higher-up committing a crime.
Terminating someone who’s part of a protected class is not only wrong, but it also goes against the Civil Rights Act. To elaborate, an employer cannot let someone go due to their age, race, sex or other characteristics.
3. Workers’ compensation retaliation
Workers’ compensation covers expenses like lost wages and medical bills after an employee gets hurt on the job. That said, an employee might be denied compensation and terminated due to their employer trivializing or ignoring their injury.
4. Breach of contract
Contracts require that both employers and employees abide by the guidelines written in them. Unfortunately, some employers don’t hold up their end of the bargain. For instance, they might release an employee before a contract ends or terminate them without paying them their wages as promised.
5. Retaliation for refusing to accept a bribe
An employee catches their supervisor embezzling company funds. The supervisor doesn’t want their boss (or anyone else) to know about it, so they offer the employee a cut of the stolen funds as a “reward” for keeping quiet. But the employee refuses to aid them in the cover-up and faces termination.
No employee should lose their job illegally. Has your employer wrongfully terminated you? If so, it helps to reach out to experienced legal guidance for assistance in your case.