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Were You Wrongfully Terminated?

If your employer has approached you about accepting a severance package, you should know that it’s important to be represented by counsel for the best possible deal. Severance agreements usually involve the employee waiving important legal rights in return for a financial payout – but your legal rights may be worth more financially than the package on offer. Don’t accept the first offer – take it to an experienced employment rights attorney like Samuel J. Cordes to look it over.

If you have been laid off, terminated or fired from your job and believe you have experienced discrimination during the process, our skilled wrongful termination attorneys at Samuel J. Cordes can help. We have won significant verdicts and settlements for employees who have experienced workplace discrimination resulting in wrongful discharge. For a knowledgeable employment law attorney, contact us to discuss your wrongful discharge or termination case. We know employment law, and use that knowledge to help our clients obtain justice.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination refers to the involuntary termination of an employee in violation of the law or an employment contract. For example, federal and some state laws enumerate specific characteristics against which employers must not discriminate. Employment contracts often spell out reasons that an employee may and may not be fired. If you believe that your employer terminated you in violation of the law or a contract, speak with an experienced employment law attorney for advice.

Protected Categories

Under federal law, employers must not discriminate against employees based on certain characteristics. It is illegal to make employment decisions based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Age

In addition, some states ban discrimination based on characteristics such as sexual orientation and familial status.

Wrongful Termination Claims

If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have rights. You may be able to recover monetary damages against your former employer or, if you have not been released yet, negotiate a favorable severance package. If you are facing wrongful termination, an employment law attorney can help you make sense of the situation.

Unemployment Insurance

Employers pay unemployment insurance payroll taxes for each employee. If an employee becomes unemployed through no fault of his or her own, the employee is usually eligible for unemployment compensation. The employee must apply for these benefits through a state agency. Sometimes the process is straightforward; other times it is more complex because the employee was fired or voluntarily gave up the job or because the employer has challenged the claim. If you have concerns about unemployment insurance, discuss the matter with an experienced employment law attorney.

Severance Pay And Benefits

A severance agreement is a contract between a departing employee and an employer. The severance payment is a reward for service and part of an exchange of duties between the employee and employer. In the agreement, the employee typically agrees not to sue the employer for wrongful termination or any other employment issue. Because the employee must receive something valuable in return for the release of liability to be valid, the employer agrees to pay the employee additional compensation. This is often called the severance package. Contact an employment law attorney like Samuel J. Cordes if you have questions about severance agreements.

Noncompete Agreements

Some employers ask their employees to sign noncompete agreements. Noncompete agreements may prohibit employees from working in certain geographical regions or sectors of an industry once they have left the company. Employers do this for a variety of reasons, including protecting their trade secrets and customer goodwill. Courts do not always uphold noncompete agreements, however. Limits on the right to earn a living are closely scrutinized. For answers to your questions about noncompete agreements, contact us today to discuss your unique situation.

Fight Back Against Wrongful Termination

Call Samuel J. Cordes at 412-338-1195 or email our firm at our Pittsburgh office.