Chances are that your employment contract is at-will, meaning that you can quit or your employer can fire you at any time and for almost any reason. However, there are a few situations in which the law protects your employment and gives you a cause of action for a wrongful termination lawsuit if your employer fires you. How can you know if your termination was illegal, and if you stand a solid chance of winning a wrongful termination lawsuit if you were to bring one against a former employer?
Sometimes, employees will report their employers for violation of state or federal regulations. For example, a construction worker could report unsafe workplace conditions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or an office worker could report fraudulent accounting practices to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.
The law forbids employers from retaliating against employees for reporting violations. This means that, if you took the proper steps to report a violation and your boss fired you as a result, you have solid grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Termination for use of protected benefits
There are certain benefits and leaves of absence that you may need to take advantage of during the course of your career. Many of these benefits include job protection, meaning that your employer’s decision to fire you cannot be solely based on the fact that you used these benefits.
For example, if you or a loved one falls sick, and you decide to take unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, your job is legally protected for the entire twelve-week period covered by the Act.
It can be tricky to prove an employer’s motivations for terminating an employee. But if it can be proved that the termination was based on illegal motives, then the employee might be able to recover what they need to make up for the wrongful termination that they suffered.