What Is Wrongful Termination?
The phrase “wrongful termination” is often misunderstood. Employers are allowed to make bad, unfair, and illogical decisions. Even if you are fired for something you didn’t do, the termination is not necessarily “wrongful” under the law. Employment actions recognized as “wrongful” under the law are very limited. What makes an action “wrongful” or illegal is the motivation behind it – i.e., the reason why an employer fires, disciplines, or otherwise treats an employee differently. Some reasons are perfectly legal (ex: preference for family members, personality differences, financial concerns). Other reasons are not legal (ex: race, national origin, color, age, gender, disability, or religion, complaints about unlawful acts, use of health insurance benefits, etc). See our pages on Discrimination and Retaliation to review what types of motivation are illegal.
How We Can Help:
Understand Your Rights. If you have just been terminated, it’s important that you have a full understanding of what your legal rights are and are not. Many times it is difficult to determine whether a termination is wrongful under the law, or simply based on an unfair, bad decision. This is compounded by the fact that employers sometimes give more than one reason for a termination decision. We can help provide you with some certainty in a very difficult, highly emotional situation by analyzing the reasons and circumstances surrounding your termination and letting you know if your termination is actionable.
Negotiate a Severance. In many wrongful termination cases, it’s in your best interest to try and resolve the dispute early on – before it becomes public, potentially interfering with your ability to find a new job. We often negotiate severances, or exit packages, that compensate you for the wrongful termination, and preserve your access to unemployment benefits and your ability to get a new job.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuits. If your employer is unwilling to negotiate an out-of-court resolution, a lawsuit may be in order. We represent wrongful termination clients regularly – in court, in arbitrations, and in front of the EEOC. We’ll make sure you understand all of the risks and benefits involved, and if you decide to sue, we’ll shepherd you through – always advocating for your rights, and keeping your best interests at the forefront of the process.