4 Things Every Worker Needs To Know About Wrongful Termination

By | April 22, 2020
Wrongful Termination

Last Updated :

A wrongful termination is exactly what it sounds like – it is when an employer lays off an employee without good grounds for doing so. Such termination is considered illegal in the eyes of the law and is therefore subject to a judicial challenge through the court system.

Introduction

Job security is vital for leading a stress-free life. Any worker who is constantly worried about their employment status is inevitably going to suffer some negative impacts on their mental health. Fortunately, there are laws in place to prevent employers from being able to arbitrarily terminate the contracts of their workers. Here are four things that every worker in America needs to know about wrongful termination.

What Makes A Termination “Wrongful”?

A wrongful termination is exactly what it sounds like – it is when an employer lays off an employee without good grounds for doing so. Such a termination is considered illegal in the eyes of the law and is therefore subject to a judicial challenge through the court system. There are both federal and state-level laws that govern employment. An employee who is terminated in violation of these laws will have a case for wrongful termination. This means that the definition of wrongful termination Indiana might differ from the definition of wrongful termination in New York, but both will be subject to federal-level regulations.

Every American needs to know about some of the more common illegal reasons that employers give for firing their workers. In some cases, violating these laws can result in significant statutory penalties for offending employers, while others can lead to a terminated employee receiving a payout for damages that is proportional to the wages they have lost out on as a result of their termination. There are even some cases where a terminated employee is entitled to a punitive damages payout.

Sexual Harassment

Terminating an employee as a form of sexual harassment is a depressingly common occurrence in the United States. Workers have a right to work without being pressured sexually by their superiors. Any worker who rejects inappropriate contact within the workplace and is fired or threatened with firing can make a claim against their employer.

Contract Violations

Depending on the circumstances, an employer who fires a worker in violation of a previously signed contract – or even an oral agreement in some states – can face a wrongful termination charge. Of course, any worker will have clauses in their contract that set out under what circumstances they might be terminated, and there are many reasons for terminations that are taken as a given. For example, gross negligence or criminal acts like theft are valid grounds for terminating employment, even if they are not explicitly laid out in the employment contract.

Labor And Collective Bargaining Laws

It is a common misconception that a worker or a team of workers might be terminated for attempting to unionize. In actual fact, there are a number of laws in place regarding both the rights of laborers and collective bargaining. Employers are not allowed to fire their workers in violation of either of these laws. Workers have the right to bargain collectively and, although it varies from state to state, there are certain protections in place to ensure that workers are not terminated because they refuse to accept unsafe or unsanitary working conditions.

If you think that you have been terminated wrongfully by an employer, you should consult with an attorney straight away. What we have outlined above are just some of the most common illegal reasons given for termination, the list is by no means exhaustive.


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