Wrongful Termination: What You Need to Know before Suing Your Employer
Published on:October 7, 2015

Wrongful Termination; What You Need to Know before Suing Your EmployerLosing your job is a very traumatic event. You can feel embarrassed, shocked, helpless, and hungry as your life change from day one to the next, especially in the face of financial obligations and other monthly bills. Fortunately, Staten Island has wrongful termination laws to protect workers. If you are considering an action for wrongful termination against your former employer, here is what you need to know about filing a wrongful termination case.

At-Will Employment

Virtually, all states in the United States follow the At-will Doctrine of employment. The doctrine states that an employer can terminate the employee from the job at any time, for any reason without the fear of legal consequences.

Exceptions to the at-will doctrine

Implied contract

Losing your job when there is an implied contract between you and your employer is enough ground to file wrongful termination lawsuit. When your employer tells you the rights and duties of employment, which is written on the company’s handbook, the employer has implied legal duty not to terminated employees as long as they comply with their duties as set in the handbook.

Public policy

Terminating your job because you refused to break a law, lie under oath or refused to discriminate job applicant based on creed, age, race or gender are legal grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Written contract of employment

This applies to the upper management and executives. When an employer offer you a job based on contract, you and your employer must abide by the terms of the employment contract. If you are fired in violation of the written contract terms, then you will have a valid wrongful dismissal case.

Covenant of good faith

Job termination when there is covenant of good faith is another legal ground for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. It is similar to an implied contract, but it goes further. A covenant of good faith exists when you perform your duties properly, and despite the performance, the employer wrongfully terminates your employment. This termination is often underhanded, sneaky or selfish and violates the good faith relationship between you and your employer.

Constructive discharge

This is a situation where your employer alters a specific working conditions and environment to make it unbearable for reasonable employment standards. As a result, you have no choice but to resign. The resignation under the intolerable conditions is wrongful dismissal, creating room to sue the employer. However, the exception will not apply if you knew of the working conditions before starting the work and later complain about working environment or conditions.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

If you believe your employer wrongfully terminated your employment, the lawsuit against your former employer is considered a breach of contract, whether implied or written. You will have two options to claim for compensation: proceed under a formal written complaint to EEOC and then file a separate lawsuit against the employer breach of your employment contract.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Even though you can file wrongful termination and litigate it without representation, it is always important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. The fact that the EEOC is known for hesitating to accept wrongful termination cases, you need to do thorough investigation, which is only possible through a skilled personal injury lawyer. Regardless of the size of the employer’s company, you should know that the employer will always fight hard not compensate you.