Losing a job is a difficult experience, especially if that individual relied on his or her paycheck as a primary source of income. While being laid off or fired is sometimes just a part of the working world, these actions are not always justified. In some cases, workplace discrimination could play a significant role in an employer’s decision to terminate a person’s employment.

If an individual did not have a contract and was employed in an “at-will” position, then his or her boss did not need to justify the firing. The exception to this is if retaliation or discrimination were the root cause of the decision to fire that person. Wisconsin employers cannot fire a worker because of his or her national origin, race, religion, sex, age or disability.

But what about people who do have employment contracts? The contract should state under which circumstances a person can be fired, but that does not always clarify things. Contracts often state that a fire may be justified “for cause.” Others simply parrot Wisconsin state law or only vaguely address the matter. Still, a person who believes he or she was wrongfully terminated should review the employment contract to see whether it was violated.

Demonstrating if a firing was justified is not always easy. At-will employers might insist that they do not have to provide just reasoning for terminating an employee, while others may try to dodge responsibility for violating contract terms. However, people who have been victims of workplace discrimination usually understand when their terminations were not justified. Achieving just compensation for discrimination and wrongful termination is important, so it can be helpful to speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about these matters.