What constitutes wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2020 | Employment law

So your boss called you to his office and told you that you were being fired and that your position is being eliminated. He or she gives you the choice of resigning or being walked right out the door. Whatever the words used, the result is the same. You no longer have a job. So now what? 

Most people have been told that they are employees at will, and that this means that you could be fired for any reason at all. Well, this may not always be the rule. According to theMuse, there are some very important exceptions that make it illegal for your employer to fire you and may give you a claim for wrongful termination. 

You cannot be fired if your boss or manager is making the decision, even in part, based upon your race, gender, national origin, age or disability. This also includes if you engage in a protected activity, such as filing a worker’s compensation claim, reporting illegal or dangerous activities in writing or opposing or participating in an investigation about unlawful discrimination. 

You cannot be fired for taking FMLA leave or because you are pregnant. You cannot be fired because you complained about not being paid overtime wages. Your employer cannot avoid a wrongful termination claim by making your job so difficult that you are forced to quit. This is called constructive discharge. If you have been fired, or even if you think that you are about to be fired, it is important for you to file a complaint. You may be able to recover lost wages until you get a new job.