The termination of a person’s employment is one of the most devastating circumstances to undergo. Especially in cases that are abrupt without justified cause to the individual at the center of the storm. For instance, reasons for discrimination or retaliation. In other words, wrongful termination. Being terminated or fired acts as a negative catalyst that can sometimes have an avalanche of an effect on a person’s mental and financial state.
While sometimes change is necessary and eminent one can never fully prepare for the transition. It is safe to say that the upheaval of any foundation or financial structure will have an uncertain and lasting effect. It is not uncommon for an employee to feel their termination was “wrongful” or illegal. Most jobs are considered at-will which are not guaranteed and can be terminated without cause. In the lines below we will discuss the “at-will” rule, exceptions to the “at-will” rule and types of discrimination in wrongful termination cases
In every state with the exception of Montana employment is considered “at-will” and as a result not guaranteed. Employers typically exercise the at-will rule which means they can fire or terminate without cause and whenever they deem it necessary as long as the reasoning is within legal bounds. But there are exceptions to this rule. The rule falls out of legal bounds when reasons of retaliation and discrimination are introduced nullifying the rule and subjecting the employer to lawsuits and other consequences. Written promises are also exceptions. For example, if you have a written agreement or contract that states you can only be fired with good cause or reasons listed in said contract this helps you establish the case that you are not considered an at-will employee.
A few examples discrimination in wrongful termination cases are being let go because you are pregnant or while on maternity leave, being fired for an existing or newly established disability, or fired due to matters concerning your religion, race, class, or sexual identity. According to EEOC.gov, the federal agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reigns in over $400 million dollars from employers per year with the average settlement being a little over $40,000.
Unfortunately, these cases are more common than we all would like them to be. Should you or someone you know be a victim of wrongful termination, be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia to review what options are available for you and your loved one.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful termination.