Justice delayed is justice denied. If you feel your employer fired you unfairly, your boss may have a case to answer.
Losing your job can be traumatic enough and leave you out of pocket. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck. It’s estimated that sixty percent of Americans could not cover an unexpected thousand dollar expense.
Read on to find out what your chances might be of getting the compensation you think you deserve.
Most employment is referred to as ‘at-will.’ This means an employer can fire a worker at any time and for any reason. They could even fire you for no reason at all, provided that the reason is not illegal.
There are though some significant exceptions to this at-will rule. In these cases, legal solutions could help. They could assist you in keeping your job or in taking legal action against your former employer for wrongful termination.
You may have received a written contract or another statement which guarantees job security. In these cases, you would have a forceful argument that you were not an at-will employee.
Let’s say you had a contract stating that your boss could only terminate your contract with good cause or for reasons stated in the contract.
You might also have an offer letter or some other written document which offer assurances of continued employment. In these instances, you might have these promises upheld through the court system.
Other Kinds of Promises
There is another exception to the at-will rule. This is when there is an implied employment contract. This agreement might center on things your employer said and did.
This can be tough to prove. That’s because most employers take care not to make promises of continued employment. They may well have received training on this issue to mitigate any chance of legal action against them or their company.
Cases of implied contracts can occur when an employer promises permanent employment. It might happen if they promise employment for a specific period of time.
It can also happen when an employer sets specific types of progressive discipline in an employee manual.
To decide if an implied employment contract exists, courts will look at a variety of things. These will include the duration of your employment and the regularity of any job promotions.
They will have an interest in seeing any evidence of positive performance reviews. They may ask whether your employer gave you any assurances that you would have continuing employment.
You may also have a case if you can show that your employer violated a usual employment practice in firing you. This could be by not giving you a required warning.
Good Faith and Fair Dealing
You might also have a claim for a breach of a duty of good faith and fair dealing. In the past, courts have found that employers have committed such a breach in certain circumstances.
This could be by firing or transferring employees to stop them from collecting sales commissions. They may have misled an employee about their chances for promotions or salary increases.
They could also have invented reasons for firing an employee. Their true motivation may have been to replace a worker with someone who would work for less pay.
Some employers can also fail to flag up negative aspects of a job. These could include the need to travel in dangerous neighborhoods late at night.
They might also have tried to transfer an employee to a dangerous or undesirable assignment. This might be an attempt to force an employee into quitting without collecting any benefits that might typically be because of them.
There are courts which don’t recognize the good faith and fair dealing exceptions to at-will employment. Some states may also require a valid employment contract before an employee can sue for any breach of good faith and fair dealing.
Public Policy Violations
Employers are not allowed to violate public policy when firing a worker. Many states list specific actions that would violate public policy.
These could be things firing you for taking time off work to serve on a jury or to vote in an election.
An employer may also have violated public policy in other instances. This could be if they fire you for notifying the authorities about some wrongdoing which is harmful to the public. This is known as whistle-blowing.
Fired Unfairly Because of Discrimination
Employers cannot use discrimination as a reason to fire you. You may believe that your boss fired you because of your color, race, or country of origin.
Other forms of discrimination could be related to your age, gender, religion, or disability. Pregnancy is another common issue in cases of discrimination. There are often strict time limits which apply to discrimination claims.
Cases of Retaliation
Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees. This would be when a worker has engaged in certain legally protected activities.
Let’s say your employer reprimanded you just after they found out you’d filed a charge of sexual harassment. In these instances, contact a lawyer straight away.
In extreme cases, your employer’s actions could be fraudulent. This often happens during the recruitment process or in the final stages of employment.
These may protect your reputation and good standing in the community. You would need to show that your employer made false and malicious statements about you. These may have harmed your chances of finding a new job.
When you sue for defamation, you’ll typically need to show that your employer made a false statement about you.
All this could have caused you to lose your job or prevented a new employer from hiring you. In these instances, you would need to prove that the hurtful words were more than chitchat.
Do You Have a Case?
If you think you’ve been fired unfairly, it can be a traumatic experience and leave you feeling dazed and confused. Take a step back and refer the matter to a lawyer to find out if there’s a case for your employer to answer.
Find out more about us here. We can help you win your case and get the compensation you deserve.
Sam Briggs embraces the challenge and stimulation of practicing, with the satisfaction of advocating for our clients to the best of our abilities. Alongside his father Larry, Sam Briggs has created a family and personal injury firm that focuses on creating and maintaining a close working relationship with their clients. The Briggs Law Firm lawyers will ensure that you are always diligently represented and look forward to zealously advocating on your behalf.