Leaving a job can be an emotional time. If you’ve been fired from your job, it’s crucial that you determine if your leaving was done legally. In many jobs, employees are there under the idea of “being at will” which means that they can be fired at any time or for no reason at all. While the majority of terminations are at the discretion of your former boss, there have been cases where employees have been wrongfully terminated.
It’s important to remember that even though you may be fired from a company, you still have legal rights during this time. So was your firing illegal? Here is a quick guide to any employee’s basic rights when losing their job.
A written or oral contract
While many employment contracts are written, some laws do recognize oral contracts. These are promises made by your employer guaranteeing:
- That you wouldn’t be fired except for specific job performance-based reasons.
- You have tenure or job security.
- The terms and length of your employment. Meaning if you were told you were to be employed for two years, but are fired after six months, this is a breach of your contract.
Your employer cannot fire you on grounds of discrimination in any way. This means they are not allowed to terminate you based on your age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or race. They also cannot fire you for being involved in a worker’s union, complaining about unsafe or unworkable conditions, asserting your legal rights, or reporting on illegal activities going on in the workplace.
Protecting your rights
If you’re suspicious of any illegal activity going on before, during, and after your termination, it’s important to keep a file of everything and anything given to you. Document any circumstances as you will want to show you were fired for reasons beyond your own doing. Also, don’t be afraid to contact a legal team for advice and guidance as they may be able to lead you down the right path in the event of a legal battle. In fact, this may be a great option for you considering over 50% of all wrongful termination cases are won by the former employee.
Was your firing illegal? Call a wrongful termination lawyer today to ensure your rights are protected.