Losing a job can be a terrifying experience and can leave the employee wondering what they will do. If they believe they were wrongfully terminated, it is important for them to understand the legal protections that may have been available to them.
The basics of wrongful termination
Employees do not have to sit quietly by when they have been wrongfully terminated. Wrongful termination is taken seriously and is prohibited in certain situations. It can be illegal for employers to terminate employees in some situations including:
- Because the employee filed a claim for discrimination based on gender, race, religion, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation or any other protected status.
- Because the employee was supportive of another employee’s discrimination claim.
- Because the employee becomes pregnant.
- Because the employee requested overtime pay or additional benefits.
- Because the employee requested time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Because the employee reported their employer for a violation of employment law or an environmental violation.
- Because of the employee’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or other protected status.
- Because the employee is supporting another employee’s harassment or discrimination claim or supporting the other employee in whistleblowing against the employer.
Legal action for wrongful termination
Many employees are considered at-will employees who can be terminated by their employer with little protections. In some circumstances, however, employers are prohibited from terminating an employee. It is essential for employees who believe they have been wrongfully terminated to be familiar with what these types of situations are and how the employment law protects them from wrongful termination.