An employer does not have absolute right to fire an employee, there are provisions in place to protect someone from unlawful termination and retaliation. How do you know if you have the right to legal recourse after a termination?Are You Considered a Protected Class?
Being a protected class means that you are protected from treatment based on your religion, gender or physical condition. For example, a woman may not be fired simply because she is pregnant and someone can not be fired for their religion. A person may also be protected from retaliation or termination for taking time off from work in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act or for other related reasons.Protected Action
State and federal law may also provide protections in addition to protected class provisions. For example, if you speak up about an unethical or illegal practice in the workplace (also known as whistleblowing), you cannot be fired or retaliated against. This applies also if you refuse to comply with orders that conflict with your religion or are judged reasonably unsafe. These areas of the law can be complex and it is best to consult a lawyer should you be fired under illegal circumstances.Can You Prove That You Were Fired Illegally?
It is difficult to prove you were fired discriminately, but there are types of evidence that can help prove your case:
- If there is no documentation proving complaints prior to whistleblowing, you may have been unfairly fired.
- If anyone witnessed behavior from your superiors that seemed unfair or discriminatory and can state that those could be used as the basis for your termination.
- Although this is unlikely, if a manager or higher up admits that you were unfairly terminated, make sure to document their statement and give it to your lawyer.
Besides the obvious benefit of compensation for damages, including lost wages, your case can help other people who were illegally terminated as well. You will want to maintain your professional and personal reputation primarily, but it could also be the chance to hold your former employer accountable and provide support for others in your situation. Many people are afraid to challenge wrongful termination especially if they were fired for whistleblowing. By pursuing your case, you give courage to others and may scrutinize employers enough for them to avoid making such a mistake again. Contact a lawyer such as the Business lawyer Memphis, TN locals today to discuss your legal rights.Thanks to authors at Wiseman Bray for their insight into Business Law.