Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or laid off from their job for unlawful reasons, such as those related to discrimination or retaliation. Many American workers are hired as at-will employees, which means they can leave their job or be terminated at any time for any reason that does not violate state or federal employment laws. Knowing what constitutes unlawful termination gives employees the power to protect their legal rights.

At-Will Employees

At-will employees may feel that they have no recourse when they are terminated from their position, but when employers terminate an employee because of their age, religion, sex, pregnancy, or race, or fire them in retaliation for whistleblowing, the termination is unlawful.

Employers that hire at-will employees can terminate the worker without just cause, so long as their decisions are not in violation of state and federal employment laws. In the same sense, at-will employees are free to leave their job at any time, with or without notice, for any reason, so long as their termination does not violate contractual stipulations. At-will employment is beneficial to workers that are independent contractors or seasonal workers. This type of hiring is also beneficial to employers in times of corporate downsizing and mass layoffs.

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination?

An employer that believes they can terminate an employee for any reason at all is prone to violating anti-discrimination and employment laws. Unlawful termination can occur when employers fire employees for illegal reasons, which include:

  • Age discrimination
  • Gender identification or sexual preference
  • Pregnancy
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Physical disability
  • Retaliation against whistleblowers
  • Retaliation against those that report workplace sexual harassment

Employees that are terminated for any of these reasons may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful termination lawsuit. An experienced and competent employment lawyer can ensure that the legal rights of at-will employees are protected and that justice for wrongful termination is served.

Compensation Available for Employees

Any employee that believes they have been wrongfully terminated should contact an experienced and knowledgeable employment lawyer. The laws are specific for this type of lawsuit, and a qualified employment lawyer can ensure that victims claim the maximum amount of compensation that is available, which can include:

  • Loss of wages, both for the time the employee was without work or unemployment benefits, and in some cases, estimated future wages.
  • Loss of benefits, such as health insurance and stock options.
  • Emotional trauma caused by wrongful termination, such as anxiety, depression, and mental distress.
  • Non-monetary benefits, such as changes in corporate policies or hiring and firing contractual stipulations.

Settling a Wrongful Termination Claim versus Litigation

In many cases of wrongful termination, the employer and employee can reach an out-of-court settlement. This has many advantages to both parties. Litigation can be a long process that proves very costly. The stress of a trial on the employee is often high as they come up against large legal firms that represent their employer.

An out-of-court settlement for a wrongful termination suit can benefit employers that want to limit the potential for future lawsuits. In some cases, an employer may refuse to settle out-of-court to make a strong statement that discourages future lawsuits. On the other hand, when an employee has strong evidence against an employer that fired them for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, an out-of-court settlement will limit the amount of bad publicity the corporation receives.

Steps to Take When Filing a Wrongful Termination Suit

The first step is to consult with a qualified and reputable employment lawyer.  This legal professional will be able to review the details of the charges against the employer and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the claim. It is often difficult to prove discrimination and retaliation in the decision-making process of an employer, but an experienced employment lawyer will be able to find the crucial evidence necessary for a successful outcome. Personal files, employee performance reports, attendance records, and past charges against an employer can help prove claims for wrongful termination.

Monmouth County Employment Lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Advocate for Victims of Wrongful Termination

If you believe you were a victim of wrongful termination, the Monmouth County employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. can help. We will review your case and obtain the justice you deserve. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

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