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Questions about Wrongful Termination Laws

Employers dismiss employees for various reasons. Not all of these can be considered wrongful termination of employment. When a person feels wrongfully terminated, it can lead to a number of questions about employment law and employee rights.

Listed below are a few of the most commonly asked questions about wrongful termination.

An employee who was a loyal worker for 13 years was set up to be fired and was replaced by a woman the boss was having an affair with. If this wrongful termination case doesn’t fit within the EEOC reasoning, would a lawyer still take the case? Also, the employee is having a tough time filing for unemployment and getting insurance for it. Can a local lawyer help this even without a case?

In response to the first question, the termination does not fall into a category of discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, or other protected category. Therefore, it would be difficult to find an attorney who would be willing to take up the case. With regard to the second question, it is possible that a local employment lawyer could help get unemployment insurance by proving that the reason that the employee was fired was not due to misconduct or poor performance but because the boss chose to favor his mistress.

I was a manager at a used-car lot in Ohio for over 90 days before losing my job. I was given a blank termination report with no reason for the termination. I was told that “it just wasn’t working out.” No termination procedures were followed. I wasn’t given prior warnings -- verbal or written. The HR department is oblivious. What legal action can I take?

You can hire the services of a local employment lawyer to get your job back, ask for severance, or to pursue litigation because of wrongful termination. Usually, an employer would have the freedom to terminate employment; but if company policy has not been followed, and you can prove that you have been discriminated against, then you might have a case.

I’m based in Missouri and suffer from anxiety and depression. My co-workers have been told by my employer that I will be fired when my Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) runs out. My employment is at-will, but I find my work environment hostile and mentally abusive. I wonder if I can voluntarily quit my job and call it “wrongful termination”?

An at-will employee can usually be terminated at any time without reason, unless the termination is based on unlawful grounds. An example of this could include being fired because of sex or race or even a case where an employee gets injured on the job, files for workers’ compensation and is then terminated from employment.

Based on what little is known of your case, it must also be said that it can be considered unlawful to fire an employee because they took FMLA. If you believe that you could be fired specifically because you took FMLA, you could visit the U.S. Department of Labor (in person or online) and file a complaint with them. You could also think about contacting an employment lawyer to help you with this.

Employees can also quit a job and claim constructive discharges. This, however, would mean proving that the hostility in the workplace was so great that no normal person could work in it. Therefore, quitting seemed the only way out. These cases could be difficult to prove, though. Besides this, to prove hostility in the workplace you would also have to prove some kind of discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, or other protected category. Legally though, rude comments or unpleasant behavior from the boss would not fall under this category.

Wrongful termination can come as a rude surprise, and employees must know what legal steps they can take to help them fight for their rights. Whether you are an employee facing a wrongful termination or an employer faced with a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee, if you are not sure of your rights, get professional help and Expert opinions to safeguard your interest.
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