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What are nondiscrimination reasons for wrongful termination?

Often when we talk about wrongful termination, we discuss specifics to cases that involved discrimination. Federal and many state laws make it illegal to discharge an employee based solely on factors such as race, religion, gender, age, disability or pregnancy. Some states are also passing laws to protect people from being fired solely because of their sexuality. However, you might file a wrongful termination lawsuit for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination.

One type of wrongful termination is related to contract law. If you have entered into a contract with an employer and the employer terminates your services in a way that is a breach of contract, then you might have a claim for wrongful termination.

Wrongful termination might also be present if you were fired after you refused to take illegal action. An employer cannot ask you to do anything illegal while in his or her service and then fire you because you refused to do so. This doesn't just include something like an employer asking someone to commit fraud. If an employer asks someone to work without federally mandated safety equipment and the worker refuses, that worker could have a wrongful termination claim if he or she was fired.

You could also have a claim if an employer fires you because you reported harassment or illegal activity. It's important to note that you might need to prove that the employer fired you solely because of these things and not because you weren't performing your job or were late for work frequently. Employers often claim other reasons for termination, making it important to have a legal professional on your side to help you prove your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job?," accessed June 10, 2016

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