No one wants to be fired, or terminated, from their job. However, in some cases a firing may be perfectly legal despite the former employee’s unhappiness with it. In other cases, though, a firing may be a wrongful termination. When it is, the former employee can contact an attorney and pursue legal action. The result of that legal action could be the former employee getting their job back, receiving financial compensation or both.
It is important for employees and employers alike to understand what wrongful termination is. It is typically when an employee is fired in violation of the law, in violation of company policy or in violation of the employee’s contract.
A violation of the law often involves discrimination of some kind. Discrimination can be based on sex, race, age, or any number of other protected individual or group characteristics. Wrongful termination suits that involve discrimination often make headlines and have a seriously detrimental effect on the company that fired the employee.
Additional situations that can result in wrongful termination suits include employees getting fired for being whistleblowers or refusing to engage in illegal conduct requested by someone in their company. Another situation that can be considered wrongful termination is a supervisor renders a workplace situation unbearable, for example by harassment, and the employee leaves for that reason.
Wrongful termination suits that are based violations of company policy or violations of an employee’s contract are also important. An employment law attorney can review both the company’s policy and the former employee’s contract to find violations of either. Companies that have fired an employee in violation of policies and contracts can find themselves financially liable in addition to having to give the person their job back.