Losing a job is a scary prospect for nearly everyone. You’re worrying about your source of income, finding a new job, and the time it’s going to take to have everything settled again. There are some situations where you may understand why you lost your job, but this isn’t always true. You may wonder what led to your termination, and if it was a legal termination.
If you’re thinking your employer fired you illegally in West Virginia, a Charleston wrongful termination lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC may be able to help. We understand this situation is difficult and want to make your voice heard. Employers cannot wrongfully terminate their employees and not be held accountable for their actions.
What Reasons Can’t You Be Fired For?
One common form of wrongful termination is getting fired based on discrimination. You’re protected by law at the federal, state, and local levels from being fired for things that don’t affect your job performance. Your employer can’t fire you for the following reasons:
If you believe you’ve been wrongfully fired because of discrimination, don’t wait too long before filing your claim because there are strict time limits on them. Contacting a wrongful dismissal attorney early can help make sure you’re within the statute of limitations.
What Does At-Will Employment Mean?
At-will employment means the employer can terminate the employment at any time. They don’t have to give the employer advanced notice. Unless the employment contract states that termination can only be a “for cause” situation, the employment is typically at-will.
But at-will doesn’t give the employer the right to wrongfully fire an employee. Employees with at-will contracts are protected from being fired for discriminatory reasons or speaking up about violations against hours and wages.
Discrimination isn’t the only way for an employee to be wrongfully terminated. Employers can wrongfully conduct a termination through the following.
- No Reason Provided. If your contract states that your employer needs to provide a reason for termination and they don’t provide you one, you can request a reason in writing.
- Breach of Employment Contract. Your employer might have made verbal promises regarding your position or have a set of rules for termination that they didn’t follow. You contract could state that you were supposed to work for six months, but your employer terminated you after three.
- Retaliation. You can’t be fired if you report illegal behavior or cooperate with investigations that are looking for illegal activity. If you recently reported anything at your job before your boss fired you, they may have tried to stop you from reporting your findings, or acted negatively toward you after you did.
- Employer Policy. Some employers are supposed to follow a discipline policy before firing an employee. A wrongful termination may have taken place if your employer didn’t follow the policy.
Wrongful termination can be difficult to prove without the help of a wrongful termination lawyer. Having an experienced professional who is looking out for your best interests at your side will increase your chance of a favorable outcome.