Wednesday 22nd May 2019,
Centre County Business

Wrongful termination: the legal guide

Wrongful termination: the legal guide

How do you know if your termination at the job was legal or not? This question lingers on all employees that have been fired at some point. Most job contracts are “at will”, which means that the employer is able to fire anybody for whatever reason, or no reason at all, if there are no legal concerns. There are certain exceptions from the at-will rule, exceptions that allow you to take legal action and sue your former employer. Below are some of those exceptions you should know about.


At-will employment cannot be terminated because of discriminative variables. If you think that you have been fired by your former employer because of your religion, race, colour, gender or sexual orientation, you should know that this is discrimination. Find a lawyer right away if you have been fired because of a pregnancy, disability of genetic information. These are also different forms of discrimination and such litigations can be easily won in court. Take all the necessary legal steps for a similar claim. You have to fill in a discrimination complaint first, with a state or federal agency before suing. Click here for more advice and guidance.

Written promises

You should know that it is illegal to fire an employee if you signed an employment contract. In these contracts, there are included promises of your job security and braking those is illegal. Certain employment contracts clearly state that you cannot be fired without any good reason or only for those stated in the contract. If your employer fires you in spite of the legal employment contract, get in touch with a specialised lawyer.

Implied promises

Sometimes, employers say or do certain things, which translate into an implied employment contract. Sometimes, implied employment promises are difficult to prove in court because employers avoid discussing such matters with their employees. However, there are several ways to decide if an implied employment contract exists or not.

  • The duration of your employment.
  • The frequency of your job promotions.
  • The employer offered you the assurance of job continuity.
  • The employer violated a usual employment practice when they fired you (e.g. didn’t give you a firing warning).


Defamation lawsuits are due to protect one’s image. To win in court such claims, you must prove that in the firing process, your former employer damaged your image. Here can be included false, malicious claims when sending recommendation letters to other potential employers. In some cases, this might cause the employee to have a difficult time finding a new job. To sue for defamation, you must prove that your former employer did some of the following.

  • Made a false statement about you.
  • Made a malicious statement about you.
  • The statement harmed you or your future employment chances.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of wrongful termination, make sure to discuss with a specialised lawyer. They will be able to offer you all the necessary guidance and fill a wrongful termination claim for you. Follow their advice and in most of the cases, your claim will be solved quite easily.

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