When an employee is terminated, it can affect him or her financially and leave them wondering what to do next. Wrongful termination may happen more often than employees realize.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is severed from his or her employment for an illegal reason, resulting from discrimination, a violation of public policy or the company failing to follow its internal guidelines. It may also happen when an employee is terminated for being a whistleblower, reporting inappropriate workplace conduct or refusing to commit an illegal act requested by the employer.
Wrongful termination claims
The employee may have a claim for wrongful termination based on discrimination if he or she was let go because of their color, race, nationality, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation.
He or she may also have a claim for wrongful termination where there is a breach of contract or where he or she was constructively discharged. Constructive discharge means that the employee was required to leave his or her job because the employer made the work environment so intolerable that a reasonable person would not be able to continue working there.
Employees may not be aware that if they filed a worker’s compensation claim for a job-related injury or illness and then the employer retaliated against them, that may also qualify as wrongful termination.
The termination may also affect the employee’s unemployment compensation benefits. However, if these benefits are denied, he or she may be able to appeal. There is help available to employees and options to address wrongful termination under the law.