If you are fired from your job, would you know whether or not the termination was legal?
Most employment across the nation is “at will”, meaning either the employer or employee can terminate the business relationship at any time for any reason or no reason at all – as long as there is no illegality. There are some exceptions to the at-will rule, however, that may assist in someone seeking legal remedy for being improperly fired.
Pink Slip: The Basics
Known as “wrongful termination”, should this occur an employee has the right to sue his or her employer for damages that may include lost wages and fringe benefits among others. In order to bring such a suit in court the person seeking damages (i.e. the plaintiff) must prove:
- the termination was “without cause” and he or she had an express or implied contract of employment in effect;
- the employer’s termination was discriminatory as defined under Title VII and related anti-discrimination laws; or
- the termination was against public policy (e.g. retaliation for exposing an employer’s dishonest acts).
Fired? Know the Differences Between Express & Implied Promises
Someone who has a written contract or other statement promising job security, no matter the time period, provides a strong argument that he or she is not an at-will employee. Some employment contracts only allow termination “for cause” while other offer letters provide promises of continued employment.
On the other hand, if such documents do not exist there still may be a cause for wrongful termination, although it can be difficult to prove. An implied employment contract may exist based on things the employer said or did. Some factors a court will look at include:
- duration of employment;
- regularity of job promotions;
- assurances of continued employment;
- history of positive performance reviews;
- whether usual employment practice was neglected in the firing; and/or
- whether promises of long-term employment were made when hired.
Beyond this, other claims may be available such as breach of good faith and fair dealing, violations of public policy such as discrimination, retaliation, defamation or fraud.
Wrongful Termination Lawyer NYC
As an employee, you are afforded certain rights under state and federal laws. While these laws are not new, it is not uncommon for employers to violate them. If you or someone you know believes he or she has been the victim of wrongful termination, or is facing any other employment law issue, contact our seasoned wrongful termination lawyers in NYC right away. Call (347) 464-8694 today to schedule your initial case evaluation.