A wrongful termination lawsuit may be brought when a former employee alleges that he or she was fired for an illegal reason or purpose. Wrongful termination claims can cost the defendant business money and credibility with future workers, bankers, and vendors. Taking time to learn about national and state employment laws and creating company policies that adhere to them make wrongful termination lawsuits less likely to occur.
At will employment is an essential concept of employment law. In the United States, at will employment means that the employer can fire an employee for no reason or any reason. There are limitations to at will employment law, because public policy, state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and employment contracts between the employer and an employee may be used to otherwise define the employer and working relationship, its term, or financial obligations to each other.
An experienced employment attorney is essential to the employer’s ability to create sound employer-employee agreements. The employment law firm understands the industry group and business climate of the client firm. Knowledge of what other employers in the same field offer to their employees is relevant information. An understanding of how other employers present and define employment terms in their agreements is necessary to the employer firm.
An employee agreement that defines key concepts, such as at will employment, is essential. The employment law firm will guide the employer’s need to define certain terms, including employee dismissal (e.g. cause for termination). The employer may decide to define dismissal (cause) to include employee misconduct, failure to perform duties, fraud, embezzlement, and more.
Federal and state laws protect employees from an employer’s discrimination based upon factors like race, disability status, gender, national origin, age, or color. The law protects employees from employers who sexually stereotype and dismiss employees. For instance, firing a gay man or homosexual woman violates federal laws. Not promoting a pregnant woman or firing her because of her status is against these laws. Terminating a worker over forty because he or she holds a customer-facing role is against federal anti-discrimination statutes.
An employer should engage human resources professionals to protect both employees and the firm from wrongful termination lawsuits. By adhering to and practicing federal and state anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, the firm reduces its exposure to costly wrongful termination and discrimination claims.
Some wrongful termination lawsuits are brought by employees for reasons other than discrimination in the workplace. For instance, an employee may believe that dismissal occurred when he or she did not break the law as requested by a supervisor.
Employment law and wrongful termination cases are complex matters. An experienced employment attorney can assist the employer in creating a healthy and fair environment for its workers. Contact us now to discuss your firm’s requirements.