“Wrongful termination” is probably one of the most misunderstood phrases in employment law. For the termination to be wrongful, it should generally be based on a protected characteristic like race, age, religion, disability, medical leave status, sex, etc. Or, the employee needs to show that they spoke up about an activity they believed was illegal, and the company retaliated against them.
Our lawyers have successfully advocated for clients who have been wrongfully terminated on a pre-litigation and litigation basis. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated or are about to be wrongfully terminated, we suggest you reach out to an employee rights law firm.
For a termination to be wrongful or illegal, it generally needs to fall under two categories which we described above — 1) the employee was treated differently because of a protected characteristic, or 2) the employee spoke up about conduct they believed to be illegal. If the termination does not have those characteristics, there is a decent chance that it was not illegal.
Being treated differently because the boss does not like the employee, or there’s a personality conflict, or the boss is harassing or bullying the employee is usually not enough to prove a wrongful termination claim. The employee generally needs to prove one additional element, specifically that the employer doesn’t like the employee because of a protected characteristic like race, religion, disability, medical leave status, sex, etc. Or that the personality conflict is really rooted in a dislike of the employee’s protected characteristic. Or that the harassing or bullying behavior is because of the employee’s protected characteristic. A termination that happens because the employee spoke up about conduct they believed to be illegal can also be the basis of a wrongful termination claim.
Yes. In the example where an employee has been terminated but is unsure if they have a wrongful termination claim, they should contact an attorney to evaluate their situation. Even if the employee does not have a wrongful termination claim, they may have other claims. In the example where an employee has not been terminated, it may be worth contacting an attorney to determine what types of other claims or options they have and what kinds of claims or options they may have if they are let go.
If you have been wrongfully terminated, Coyle Browne Law is available for free consultations to investigate and determine whether we can offer to represent you. To begin this process, please contact us by calling or texting 800-421-2594 or emailing email@example.com.
While not required for an initial consultation, it is helpful to prepare in advance:
The specific facts and any records about the incident(s), including the name and contact information of the person or entity you believe harmed you (if known);
The names and contact information of any witnesses (if known); and
Copies of any documents or other evidence related to your situation.