When Being Fired by Your Boss is Considered Wrongful Termination
March 1, 2019
The last thing you want to hear from your boss are those two terrifying words, “You’re fired.” Although most people don’t necessarily find their job that thrilling, it is something that we value in our lives and need to survive. Currently, an average of almost 55,000 a day are laid off or fired. Although there are many legitimate reasons to fire someone, people are also fired on a daily basis for very unfair reasons that can range from racism to personal grudges to broken promises. This blog details when being fired by your boss is considered to be wrongful termination and when you may be legally able to sue for your job loss.
What is Wrongful Termination?
In the legal world, wrongful termination is when an employee is illegally fired from their position. There are many instances in which it is necessary to lay of a worker, however, there are federal and state laws in place that protect workers from being fired immorally or based on certain unfair factors. American workers and their jobs are protected by the U.S. Department of Labor from discrimination and other wrongful acts.
Situations Considered to Be Wrongful Termination
There are many scenarios under which someone can be fired that is classified as wrongful termination. Firing someone based off of looks or beliefs are naturally inconceivable reasons, but they happen every day. If you can prove that you were fired wrongfully then you can file a lawsuit and hopefully get compensation for it. You may be wondering what other situations would be considered as wrongful termination.
The following scenarios that can be considered wrongful termination include:
- Discrimination – If you are fired for a disability, pregnancy, genetic attribute, being over the age of 40, race, color, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or your national origin. This does not include your opinions, morals, or your political views and actions. You can’t be fired for having alcoholism in your bloodline, but you can be for drinking and posting pics publicly. Your actions still have consequences.
- Retaliation – Employers cannot retaliate against your for certain acts that are considered legally protected which include filing complains about discrimination, serving as a witness for someone else’s discrimination case, or certain whistleblowing scenarios.
- Whistleblowing – A whistleblower is someone who reports illegal activities of a company or acts that could harm the public interest. An employer cannot fire you for reporting them. What you can and can’t be fired for reporting depends on the state.
- Contract Violation – If it is formally written in a contract that you cannot be fired for certain reasons or fired for a certain amount of time without a good cause, this can be considered wrongful termination.
- Public Policy – Certain rights are legally protected under public policies. If there are regulations in place and an employee reports and employer for not following them, their job is protected and firing them for it would be considered wrongful termination.
- Broken Promises – If there is proof that someone has promised continued employment for someone and that promise is broken, there is a chance a wrongful termination case could be valid. Expert witnesses can assist with these cases and detail what counts as implied promises as well for when they are not clearly stated.
- Not Following Disciplinary and Termination Policies – How you get fired also can count as wrongful termination. If a company has a policy in place for when and how they choose to discipline versus terminate an employee, they must adhere to this. For instance, they must give verbal warning for certain behaviors at least once before firing someone if that is in their company policy.
There may be other circumstances that call for wrongful termination. These types of cases can be very difficult to prove as it is easy for an employer to simply give another possibly valid reason for your termination and many fellow co-workers won’t wont to testify on your behalf to protect their own jobs. You will need a dedicated and experienced attorney on your side to help you develop your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Pittsburgh Wrongful Termination Lawyer To Discuss Your Pennsylvania Case
The Pennsylvania wrongful termination attorneys at Quinn Logue LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Penn Hills Township, Bethel Park, Ross Township, and Mount Lebanon Township. We understand how difficult it can be both financially and emotionally to lose your job, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (412)-765-3800 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 200 First Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, as well as offices located in Scranton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.