If you have recently been terminated, you might be wondering whether you have any legal rights to claims against your employer. Well, many fired employees don’t because employees are generally presumed to work “at will”, they can quite at any time, and an employer can fire them at any time, for any reason that is not illegal. For example, an employee can be fired because of low performance, irregularities, misconduct – or even for just being a poor fit.
However, it does not mean that every firing or termination is legal. Even at-will employees cannot be terminated for discriminatory reasons, in retaliation to report harassment or other wrong things, or because they exercised a legal right, for instance. In such situations, an employee should choose or hire a wrongful termination lawyer.
Wrongful Termination: An Overview
It is a catchall category that can be defined as any illegal reason for firing or terminating an employee, including
Discrimination: It is illegal to terminate an employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age; state and local laws protect additional aspects, including marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Retaliation: An employer cannot fire an employee because the employee complained of illegal behavior, including harassment, workplace safety concerns, discrimination, wage and hour violations, and more.
Violation of public policy: There are a number of states where it is illegal to terminate an employee for reasons that numerous people would find morally wrong. For instance, an employee who is terminated for exercising a legal right, denying to commit an illegal act, or reporting a wrongdoing may have such type of legal claim.
In addition, an employee can also claim for breach of contract. Not all employees work at will. If an employee has signed a contract that the employee can be fired for certain reasons like committing financial malfeasance or gross misconduct, the employer can fire the employee for those reasons. Else, the employee may have a claim for breach of an employment contract.
When to Hire A Wrongful Termination Lawyer
If the situations of your firing suggest that it may have been illegal, you can approach an employment lawyer. A lawyer can review all the facts and assess whether you have any legal claims. If yes, your lawyer can help you think about what you want to do in order to assert your rights. For instance, you might want to negotiate a package, demand a settlement, or file administrative charges or a lawsuit against the employer. In addition, you can also decide to make more sense to move on. But, the only way to know for sure how strong your legal claims are and what options you have is to approach a lawyer.
It is essential to look for a legal consultation if you are asked to sign a waiver or release of claims that you can give up to sue the employer. There are a number of employers who require employees to sign such type of agreement as a condition to get severance. Once you sign it, it is quite challenging to undo – even if you later realize that you have precious legal claims against the company. So, before signing, you will want to know what claims you are giving up and what they might be worth.
Today, there are a number of law firms available from where you can hire a Pasadena wrongful termination lawyer for your case. Simply go online and find a reliable and trusted lawyer to assistance and guidance for your case.