Being laid off or fired is something that many people experience at some point in life. While it can be a horrible experience – the shame, the uncertainty, the loss of income – most people can eventually move on.
But what happens when an employee is fired for an illegal or discriminatory reason? This brings up a whole host of other considerations and issues.
One scenario commonly takes place during company reorganizations or downsizings: A company is forced to lay off employees. At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary. Lay-offs are a reality, and some unfortunate employees lose their jobs as a result.
But soon something becomes apparent: Certain groups of employees seem to have been hit especially hard. Older employees – employees of a certain race or ethnic background – females – employees of a certain religion.
Is it a coincidence?
What does the law say?
An employee can be fired for many reasons. But the law protects employees against firing for discriminatory or harassment-related reasons.
Some companies will use a company reorganization or downsizing as a guise to fire certain individuals or groups of employees for discriminatory reasons.
But this is illegal.
What can employees do?
Victims of wrongful termination have legal rights and options – and may be eligible for significant compensation.
If you suspect that you were illegally fired during a company reorganization, it is advisable to talk to an employment law attorney as soon as possible.
Further reading: Downsizing and Discrimination: An Illegal Combination
Free consultation: Call Bononi Law Group at 213-550-5503.