The Top 6 Causes of Wrongful Termination Lawsuit and How to Protect Yourself

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In an era where job security is crucial, understanding the delicate dynamics of job loss is key. This is true for both employees and employers.

They cause emotional turmoil. They can also lead to big financial strain and reputational damage for businesses.

This post will explain the six most common causes of a wrongful termination lawsuit. It also offers practical advice on how to avoid such legal problems.

1. Discrimination

One of the leading causes of a wrongful termination lawsuit is discrimination. Under federal and state laws, it is illegal to fire an employee based on their race, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Discrimination can also extend to other aspects of employment, such as pay and promotion opportunities.

Employers need to have non-discriminatory policies in place and strictly adhere to them. Firing for these illegal reasons can be hard to prove.

So, employers must document and provide evidence of legal reasons for termination. These reasons must be unrelated to the protected classes mentioned above.

2. Retaliation

Employees who report misconduct or join an investigation against their employer are protected. They are protected from legal retaliation. This means an employer cannot fire an employee as punishment.

Retaliation also targets employees. They do protected activities.

Unlawful discharge cases based on retaliation often come down to showing a clear timeline. They must prove the firing was a direct result of the protected activity.

3. Breach of Contract

When an employer contracts with an employee, it creates duties and expectations for both. An employer failing to honor the agreement terms can lead to a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Employers must ensure that all employment contracts are drafted. Legal experts should review them to avoid legal trouble.

Employment lawyers can give helpful guidance. They help create strong agreements that protect both parties.

4. Violation of Public Policy

Employees can be free from retaliation when exercising their legal rights or complying with public policy. An employer can’t fire an employee for refusing to do illegal things. They also can’t fire them for reporting safety violations.

Employers must have clear policies and procedures. They must align with state and federal laws. This alignment is needed to avoid wrongful termination claims based on public policy.

Small business owners should also stay current on changing rules and regulations affecting their business practices.

5. Constructive Discharge

At times, an employer’s actions can create a work environment. It can be so hostile or intolerable that the employee feels forced to resign.

This is known as constructive discharge and is considered a wrongful termination under the law. Actions that may lead to constructive discharge include harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Illegal reasons to fire someone can be tricky to prove. Still, employers should take all complaints seriously and address them promptly.

  1. Violation of Employment Laws

Employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), provide specific employee protections. Violating these laws can result in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Employers must ensure compliance with all relevant employment laws and regulations to avoid legal repercussions. This includes appropriately classifying employees, paying overtime, and providing necessary leave accommodations.

Navigating Different Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Understanding the various causes of a wrongful termination lawsuit is essential for employees and employers. As for employees, being aware of their rights and documenting any suspicious or concerning behavior from employers can help them build a strong case in the event of a wrongful termination. So, it is crucial to be proactive and informed to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

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