Being fired from a job can be stressful, problematic, and even traumatic for some. Although employers can be within their rights to terminate an employee for legitimate reasons, oftentimes they let employees go without warning or a clear explanation. Do employees have any recourse in these situations? It depends on the situation. Factors, such as what state it occurred in, whether the employee is in a contract, and legality can all come into play.
Employees that signed employment contracts have certain rights. A contract is considered to be a binding agreement that applies to a specific amount of time. Unless the employee breaks the contract’s terms, firing them could constitute wrongful termination. At-will employment does not hold either party to these conditions. In other words, the employee may quit at any time; employers can also let the employee go as long as it is done so legally.
Some legal causes for firing include interpersonal issues, such as an employee who acts abrasive and does not get along with their manager. Posting on social media can also put a job at risk, especially if it is disparaging to the company or another employee. Employees that publicize political views, or act in discriminatory, abusive, or harassing ways to others may also end up losing their jobs legally.
If there is a legitimate reason for the termination, the employee should take care to handle things properly. They should look at the situation objectively to make sure that there was just cause. If something seems out of order, keeping a record of everything that happened is important. Proper documentation can serve as evidence later on if it is needed.
There are some grounds for wrongful termination if the employee is employed at-will. This could include firing a worker for exercising legal rights, firing in retaliation for reporting any type of harassment, or firing for discriminatory reasons. Employees are protected by federal laws, such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), which protects them from being fired based on their age, religion, race, gender, marital status, disability, military or veteran status, national origin, sexual orientation, or pregnancy.
Employees may have recourse if they do not understand why they were fired or believe that it was done illegally. It is possible to find assistance from certain agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or to file lawsuits in this regard. Some juries have determined that employers have been dishonest about the reasons for termination, and have done so to cover up other, illegal ones. Some employees may wish to get their jobs back, or to receive compensatory damages, lost wages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and other relief.
If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Long Branch employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Contact us at 732-493-9400 or complete an online form for a free case evaluation today.
Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson.