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A wrongful termination is when an employer terminates an employee in a way that is in breach of the employee’s contract of employment. Most commonly, this arises when the employer dismisses the employee without any notice at all or with short notice, and has no sufficient justification for doing so or breaches state or federal law. There are many reasons why a dismissal can be wrongful such as if there was discrimination or the employer terminated the employment without following some procedure prescribed by the contract or the rules of the company. The law ensures that no one that has a contract with an employer can be dismissed at the pleasure of his/her employers. It is always important for an employee to know his/her rights to know when there has been a wrongful termination by his employer.
Can I sue my Employer for Wrongful Termination?
An employee can sue for wrongful termination once the employer had no reason for terminating the employee, termination contravened the procedures which an employer ought to follow or termination was because of illegal reasons like beach of public policy. It is important to know that there can be wrongful termination of employment if there was an at-will agreement in limited circumstances. There is no right to bring a claim where there was an at-will agreement by the parties which means both parties had the power to terminate the relationship between employer and employee at any time unless it is for discrimination or illegal reasons. Many States like California are at-will which can make suing for wrongful termination more difficult. If a person is under a union contract or have signed a contract which guarantees employment for a period of time then they are not at-will even though they may be in an at-will state. As a result they can sue if no reasons were given.
Can I sue a Company for wrongful employment?
A company can be sued for wrongful termination once the person who dismissed you was performing in the course of their employment. The actions of a manager or a supervisor can be attributed to the company because of the principles of employer’s liability. Employer’s liability makes a company assumes the responsibilities of their employees where there was some act or omission that caused loss.
Can I sue for wrong termination in an at-will State?
There are many at-will states in the US which can affect bringing a claim for wrongful dismissal. A party can still bring a claim but it is conditional on certain circumstances. One should remember that with an at-will agreement good cause, no cause, bad cause, no warnings or notice still makes the dismissal just. Therefore, if your boss fires you because he does not like you, termination is not wrongful. However where the government or the state has made some reasons illegal such as discrimination because of race or age, if a person is pregnant or made a safety complaint, an employee can bring a claim if the employer terminated the contract because of that reason. If there is a breach in public policy then this is also an exception to the at-will doctrine. A breach in public policy means a person should not be dismissed because of a reason that the public will think is an illegitimate ground. Examples of breach in public policy includes refusing to do something that is illegal or performing a public duty such jury duty.
Where the reason violates the employment contract then an employee can bring a claim for breach of contract and wrongful termination. Additionally, where the disciplinary procedures which is found the employee’s handbook are not followed before termination then the employee’s termination would be wrong as the proper procedures were not followed.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?
California is an at-will state which means that no reasons are needed for the termination of an employee. Therefore, the mere fact that you have been dismissed in circumstances that you may think is unfair does not mean that you can sue. Only persons that fall with a protected class can sue for wrongful dismissal. If the dismissal was based on race, age, religion, medical condition or it was contrary to public policy then an employee can sue for wrongful termination. The mere fact that the state permits the termination of employees without a reason does not mean that you can be dismissed because of an illegal reason.
A person can always seek compensation for wrongful employment once it was done in a manner which breached the contract or that was illegal. If there was at-will employment as in California the mere that no cause was shown for termination does not make it wrongful unless the employee was dismissed because of illegal reasons.