Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is illegally dismissed from their job. The legal definition of wrongful termination is quite precise. For example, an employer cannot fire you if you’re a member of a federally protected class. It’s also unlawful for your employer to fire you if you’ve lodged a legal complaint against them, or brought to light their illegal activities.
Wrongful termination may be covered by federal and states laws pertaining to employment discrimination, or by contract law if an employer breaches an employment agreement. It can also take place if a company policy is violated when an employee is dismissed.
Other grounds for wrongful termination include:
- Termination after complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace
- Termination that violates spoken and written employment agreements
- Termination that violates labor and collective bargaining laws
Some of these breaches violate statutes and therefore carry statutory penalties, while others could result in the employer having to pay damages based on the terminated employee’s lost earnings and other losses.
Special Types of Wrongful Termination
In addition to the above-mentioned grounds for wrongful dismissal, there are other more unique types of wrongful termination claims:
A. Mixed-motive Cases
– These situations arise when an employer performs a work-related action that is detrimental towards an employee. The employer can have several motivations for taking the detrimental action (including legitimate business reasons and unethical motives), hence the term “mixed motive”.
– In such cases, even though the employee has resigned, the employer has made working conditions so intolerable that the employee can no longer work in such an environment. In this scenario, the employee’s resignation is overlooked because the employment relationship was effectively terminated by the intolerable working conditions.
Claiming Damages for Wrongful Termination
Whether the wrongful termination took you completely by surprise or was a long time coming, it’s vital to take the following steps to build a strong case against your former employer and recover damages:
1. Document What Happened
In your documentation, discuss the events leading up to your dismissal, the reasons why you were terminated, what your employer did or said, as well as the manner in which you were terminated. If you’re unable to gather formal documents or evidence, write a detailed account of the events leading up to the termination.
2. Check Your Employment Contract
Review your employment contract or agreement to determine if it limits the circumstances under which you can be dismissed. Your employer may have violated the contract even if you’ve been given what appears to be a lawful reason to terminate your employment.
3. Contact an Employment Attorney
In order to ensure that you’re fully compensated for the damages and losses you’ve suffered as a result of the wrongful termination, contact an experienced wrongful termination attorney from Los-Angeles based Mesriani Law Group.
Your attorney will work tirelessly to ensure that you’re compensated for all of your losses and suffering, including back wages, unpaid benefits, unpaid rest and meal breaks, as well as damages related to pain, suffering, and emotional distress.