Understanding Wrongful Termination Laws

Understanding Wrongful Termination Laws

Do you believe your job termination was fair and legal? If not, you may have a wrongful dismissal case on your hands. Also called wrongful termination or wrongful discharge, this describes a situation in which an employee is let go by the employer under circumstances where the termination does not line up with the terms of an employment contract, or goes against a section of employment law. The Statistics: Employee lawsuits have increased around 400% over the past 20 years in the United States. This could be due to more people knowing their rights as a worker, or due to employer negligence. Many times, wrongful dismissal cases are the result of a work-related injury. Winning a personal injury case can often result in compensation for any lost wages, pain, suffering, and the cost of medical treatment. Wrongful termination lawyers will be able to take on your case. Qualifications for a Lawsuit You may qualify for wrongful dismissal compensation if you have been terminated for any of the following reasons. Discrimination: Your employer cannot fire you because of your race, nationality, religion, sex, age, creed, or sexual orientation. Retaliation: You cannot be let go by an employer if you are looking into filing a claim for being discriminated against. You are not allowed to have your employment contract terminated if you refuse to commit an illegal act. For example, having your boss tell you to purchase liquor for a minor is illegal. If your employer does not follow specific company guidelines on the firing process, you may also have a wrongful termination case at hand. Wrongful Termination Process If you...
Can You Get Fired For What You Post on Facebook?

Can You Get Fired For What You Post on Facebook?

Facebook has over 1.28 billion monthly active users, and 802 million users who log in every single day for good reason. It’s a great place to connect with old friends, share photos, and air any personal grievances and frustrations you may have. However, you need to be careful what you post on social networks. Businesses keep a keen eye on the social network and can catch wind of their employees Facebook activities, see some unsavory photos, and even catch them badmouthing the company. As a result, the employer may take disciplinary actions. It’s part of the reason why there’s been such a big uptick in employee lawsuits, increasing by about 400% in the past 20 years with many of them involving small- to medium-sized companies — not large corporations. However, do such actions violate your rights as an employee? If they terminate your employment, are they are breaking wrongful dismissal law? Luckily, there’s wrongful dismissal legislation that can protect your online activity from employer action. Off-Duty Conduct. Several states have passed wrongful dismissal laws that forbid employers from either disciplining or firing employees for their off-site, online activities that they do on their own time. Although these wrongful dismissal laws were originally designed to protect smokers, their power could be extended to social media users. Concerted Activity Protections. Some wrongful dismissal laws even protect the right of employees to communicate with each other about the terms and conditions of their employment and to join together to bring forward any concerns regarding these terms to the employer. If you’ve been fired for posting on Facebook about poor benefits, compensation, and...
Are You Sure Your Employer Played Fair? Three Ways Your Termination May Have Been Illegal

Are You Sure Your Employer Played Fair? Three Ways Your Termination May Have Been Illegal

As you may already be aware, most employment is “at will,” which means that an employer can can hire or fire their employees at any give time for any reason at all. What you may not be aware of, though, is that there are exceptions to the rule. If any employer terminates an employee whose situation falls under one of these exceptions, they’ve committed a crime known as a “wrongful dismissal,” and can be held responsible for their actions by the wrongfully terminated employee. If you suspect that you’ve been the victim of a wrongful dismissal, consider the following questions. Did You Have an Implied Contract? An implied contract is an agreement based on what an employer said or did, and is an exception to the at will rule. However, it can be difficult to prove your termination was a wrongful dismissal if you had an implied contract, as most employers are usually careful not to promise continued employment. That being said, wrongful dismissal courts look at a number of different things when deciding whether or not an implied contract existed. The criteria these courts look at includes assurances of continued employment, duration of employment, positive performance reviews, regularity of promotions, and employer violations, like failing to provide a required warning. Did the Employer Violate Public Policy? Many state and federal laws clearly outline employer actions that violate public policy. You may have a viable wrongful dismissal case if you were terminated after taking time off to serve on a jury, vote, serve in the military or National Guard, or notified authorities of some kind of wrong doing. Did...
Case Study: Former Police Chief Nate Young Files Wrongful Dismissal Suit Against Bar Harbor

Case Study: Former Police Chief Nate Young Files Wrongful Dismissal Suit Against Bar Harbor

A former police chief in Bar Harbor, Maine has filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the city. Nate Young claims that he was fired from the police force due to being an alcoholic, a status he claims as a disability. Bar Harbor, Young argues, has a duty under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to make reasonable accommodations that would allow him to carry out his duties while seeking treatment for his condition, something he says the city blatantly refused to do. Bar Harbor, unwilling to add to the 260% rise in wrongful dismissal cases in the last two decades, contends that Young’s dismissal violates no wrongful dismissal laws. They argue that Young intimidated two officers who found him drunk and unconscious in his pickup truck outside of the local Town Hill Market. They allege he used his position to force them not to report his actions. After the officers reported the incident, Young was fired, as The Bangor Daily News reports. Alcoholism is Covered Under the ADA If Young weren’t caught drunk behind the wheel of a vehicle, and he were let go because of his alcoholism without reasonable accommodation on the part of the city, it could be argued that he is entitled to wrongful dismissal compensation. As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights details, so long as alcoholics are not drinking during the course of work and so long as their situation does not interfere with their ability to discharge their duties, they are protected under the ADA. Further, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to their disabled employees. What Counts as Reasonable Accommodation...
Will Edward Lane Win Against Central Alabama Community College in Wrongful Dismissal Case?

Will Edward Lane Win Against Central Alabama Community College in Wrongful Dismissal Case?

[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left]A longstanding case of a Alabama man versus his employer is currently before the Supreme Court. Edward Lane, a former employee of Central Alabama Community College (CACC) is bringing suit against Steve Franks, the former president of the college. As the case goes forward, questions of the limit of the First Amendment and so-called wrongful dismissal laws will be called into question. Mr. Lane’s Wrongful Dismissal Case Against CACC Mr. Lane worked as the interim director of the Community Intensive Training for Youth Program at CACC. The program aims to educate and counsel individuals at high risk for criminal activity, as an alternative for jail time. After completing an audit of the program, according to NPR, Mr. Lane found that state representative Suzanne Schmitz, on the payroll as a community relations manager, wasn’t actually doing her job, despite being one of the program’s best paid employees. Realizing that Schmitz’s alleged actions were illegal, Lane set up a meeting with the representative. Following a confrontation that Lane describes as “ugly,” he fired the representative from the program. Not long after Lane cut Ms. Schmitz loose, the Federal Bureau of Investigation came to his door, asking him to cooperate in a corruption case against the wayward representative. After giving his truthful testimony to the court on Schmitz’s criminal activities, Lane was fired from CACC. The crux of Mr. Lane’s argument is that he was fired for testifying against Ms. Schmitz, an action which he believes should have been protected under the First Amendment, employee laws set up under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and common laws protecting...