Common Misconceptions About Wrongful Termination
At Cross Law Firm, S.C., our attorneys have decades of experience navigating wrongful termination cases, and we know exactly what signs to look for. Remember, your employer wants you to think that firing you was justified. He or she hopes you never realize that the company broke the law. With our professional team on your side, your rights will be protected.
Does Your Employer Need A Reason To Terminate You?
One of the most common misconceptions about termination is that your employer must provide a reason for firing you. If your boss comes up to you on Friday and tells you not to come back on Monday for no reason at all, you feel wronged. Surely they have to tell you why you got fired?
Not exactly. This certainly could be an illegal firing, but most people are employed at will. This means your employer does not need just cause to fire you. You do not have to make mistakes at work or cost the company money. They can fire you without ever telling you why. That is not, in and of itself, illegal.
A firing becomes illegal when it is done for discriminatory reasons, against a protected class. Legal protections say your employer cannot fire or refuse to hire people on the grounds that they belong to a protected class. Protected classes include:
- National origin
- Skin color
For example, perhaps you are the only employee with an ethnic background. Your boss subtly discriminates against you almost from the first day on the job, never treating you the same as the other workers. You finally get fired even though your production numbers are the best on the team, and it is simply because of your boss’s bias against you due to your minority status.
It is also illegal to fire workers in retaliation for certain actions they take on the job. For instance, perhaps you noticed some serious safety violations at work and you reported them to OSHA. Your employer found out that you called in the report and fired you. That is illegal, violating your rights as an employee. Retaliations also cannot follow EEOC complaints, workers’ compensation claims, whistleblower actions and any other legal action against your employer.