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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

This is What Wrongful Termination Looks Like

By Dan Atkerson on August 03, 2015

Employment agreement contractSo, you were fired; that’s enough to ruin anybody’s day. However, in the event that you were the victim of wrongful termination, that’s just simply illegal. There are a number of reasons that an employer may choose to wrongfully terminate an employee. We’re going to give you a list of things to look out for so that you know if you’ve been illegally fired.

  • Written Contract - If you have some kind of documentation that says you are a permanent employee, then you may be able to prove that you are not an “at will” employee who can be fired at will.
  • Breach of Good Faith - If you are fired because your employer wants to avoid paying sales commission, found someone who will work for cheaper, or sends you on hazardous jobs to trick you into quitting, then that would be a breach of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Fraud - Similar to the breach of good faith, fraud involves doing things like trying to force or trick you into quitting through false representation. You must be able to prove the malicious intent of the employer. This makes fraud a little harder to prove, but not impossible.
  • Violating Public Policy - This includes being fired for taking time off for jury duty, military duty, voting, or whistleblowing.
  • Defamation - A defamation suit would involve proving that your previous employer said or wrote something bad about you that causes you to be fired from your current job or prevents you from getting another job.
  • Retaliation - If you are fired as punishment for filing charges of sexual harassment, reporting EEO violations, or for whistleblowing, then that is unlawful termination. There are laws put in place to protect employees from being fired as retaliation.
  • Discrimination - Firing on the basis of discrimination is illegal for any employee, “at will” or otherwise. You may have a discrimination case if you believe you have been fired on the basis of race, religion, age, disability, gender, national origin or pregnancy.
Most employees are what are known as “at will” employees, which means that they can be fired whenever and for whatever reason the employer chooses so long as that reason is not illegal. We can help you if you think you’ve been unlawfully terminated.

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