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What is considered wrongful termination?

Whether you were just hired or have been in the same job for years or even decades, it is likely your intention to remain in your current place of employment. While you might seek to change positions or obtain a promotion, no one expects to lose their job. While it is possible to be fired based on fireable offenses, one cannot be terminated for illegal reasons.

What is considered to be wrongful termination? This occurs when an employee is fired for the wrong reason. When an employer does this, this could place them is a heap of legal hot water. Wrongful termination could occur when an employee is contracted or is considered to be at will.

Obviously, if terminated employee was contracted, firing that employee could be considered a breach of contract. However, if an employee is at will, it is possible for an employer to fire that employee for any reason and at any time. But if termination is based on discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, this is considered illegal, unjust and could cause an employer to face employment litigation issues.

Regarding discrimination, it is illegal for employers to fire an employee based on his or her race, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, medical condition or pregnancy. With regards to retaliation, an employer is not able to terminate an employee because he or she asserted their rights under federal or state anti-discrimination laws.

Thus, if an employee is fired based on illegal reasons, it is important that they understand their rights. They are able to file an action against an employer, helping them hold an employer accountable for their actions while also helping them recover compensation for their losses and damages.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Wrongful Termination Laws: Illegal Reasons," accessed Dec. 31, 2017

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