Wrongful termination can have a significant impact on the lives of workers in the United States. It occurs when an employer terminates an employee for illegal reasons. Examples include discrimination, retaliation, or a violation of an employment contract.
It is difficult to determine exactly how common wrongful termination is in the US. That said, evidence indicates this is a widespread problem.
Per a study from the Center for American Progress, approximately one in five workers in the US have experienced wrongful termination at some point in their careers. Wrongful termination includes termination due to discrimination based on age, race, gender, religion, disability, or other such protected qualities. It may also include retaliation for reporting workplace misconduct or participating in union activity. Additionally, an employer may be guilty of wrongful termination if the way in which they fire an employee constitutes a violation of an employment contract.
The consequences a worker may face if they’re the victim of wrongful termination can include:
Wrongful termination is prevalent in part because many workers are employed at-will. This means that their employment can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it is not illegal. Thus, employers have a significant amount of discretion in hiring and firing decisions. This can make the process of challenging a termination difficult for an employee.
That said, various legal protections are in place to prevent wrongful termination. It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state to ensure you’re not fired illegally without realizing your employer has broken the law.
Workers who believe they have been wrongfully terminated can take several steps to protect their rights. They include:
Workers can also take steps to guard against being victims of wrongful termination in the first place. Along with understanding their legal rights and protections, they should document any workplace misconduct or discrimination and report any violations to their employer or a government agency.
At Azadian Law Group, PC, we understand that being fired for an illegal reason can be a very stressful experience. Luckily, if you take legal action, you may be able to receive financial compensation and could even potentially be reinstated to your position. Be aware that taking proper legal action against an employer who engages in wrongful termination could also minimize their odds of doing so again in the future.
For more information about how our Van Nuys, California wrongful termination legal team can help you, contact us online today. We’re prepared to discuss your case and offer the representation you deserve.