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Does my firing qualify as wrongful termination?

When you are fired from a job, it is easy to immediately think that somehow, someway your employer terminated you without just cause. On the one hand, you may be right. There are many ways that a company can open itself up to liability when they fire an employee. On the other hand, you may not be right. Many employees want to think they were wrongfully terminated, but in the end there is no evidence to support such a claim.

With that in mind, what can qualify a firing as "wrongful termination?" Here are a few things to consider:

  • Many employees are hired under an "at-will" premise. Quite simply, this means either party -- the employer or the employee -- can end the relationship at any time, with or without reason. But this doesn't absolve companies from discriminating against an employee, retaliating against an employee or harassing an employee.
  • Even if a company fires an employee without discrimination, retaliation or some other violation, the terms of your employment contract may have been violated. So your employer could be in breach of the contract, and you could hold them liable for said offense.
  • It is also illegal for a company to fire an employee for taking too much time off under the law or for refusing to do something illegal.
  • Don't forget that there is a specific process to firing someone. If a company failed to follow their protocols (such as giving you written warnings, or whatever their specific process may entail), then your firing may be a wrongful discharge.

Source: FindLaw, "Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job?," Accessed May 10, 2016

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