What Do You Need to Prove Wrongful Termination?
The Elements Needed to Make a Wrongful Termination Claim Against Your Employer
When you get fired from work, you want someone to blame. You want to know what you did that got you targeted as the next person out. Sometimes, your termination is truly legitimate.
You may have been downsized because your department is no longer needed. You may have been terminated because your work product has not been up to the company’s standards for some time.
In many states, you can get fired just because your boss no longer wants to work with you. Most states maintain at-will employment laws, meaning you can get fired for no reason at all, as long as it is not due to an illegal reason.
However, sometimes, you are fired because of your protected class status. In other words, you are fired from work due to employment discrimination. You may get fired in a fit of retaliation.
You can even get fired due to sexual harassment and your refusal to give in to sexual advances. These acts are acts of wrongful termination.
Learn more about what you need to prove you were the victim of wrongful termination at work.
1. Were You Fired from Work as a Result of Employment Discrimination?
One of the first questions you must answer to determine if you were fired in a fit of wrongful termination is whether it was the result of discrimination. Discrimination occurs when employees are targeted for negative employment actions based on their protected class status. Protected classes include the following characteristics:
- Race Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Age(over 40) Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender/Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Bankruptcy Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination
- Immigration/Citizenship Status Discrimination
- Military/Veteran Status Discrimination
- Reverse Discrimination
If your employer used your protected class status as the reason you got fired from work, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
2. Were Your Fired from Work Because You Reported Illegal Activity?
Whistleblowers report illegal activities to people who can act upon the information. For instance, if an employer is submitting false claims to Medicare or Medicaid, a whistleblower may report these actions to the local government. As a result, the whistleblower is protected from negative employment actions under federal and state whistleblower protection laws.
However, if your employer fired you from work because you reported the information, you may have a claim for wrongful termination due to whistleblower retaliation.
3. Were You Fired from Work within Days or Weeks of Turning Down Your Boss’s Sexual Advances?
Sometimes, your employer will try to create a paper trail to show a legitimate reason to fire you from work. However, the paper trail is sudden and only begins to get produced after you refuse their sexual advances.
They may try to say that you were a poor employee. They may say that you missed deadlines or had other issues within the workplace. However, if these write-ups occur within quick succession almost immediately after you refused your boss’s sexual advances, you may have a claim for wrongful termination due to sexual harassment.
4. Were Your Fired Shortly After You Reported an Issue with Your Paystub?
If you suddenly get written up for poor behavior, given false deadlines, or put in positions where mistakes are inevitable, look back at your history. Did you recently report an issue with your pay stub to your HR department? Did you report any negative workplace issues to your HR department or union rep?
Sometimes, when employees complain about things that they have every right to complain about, employers jump to find a way to get them off their team. They look at these employees as the broken cog in the wheel.
Therefore, they will start to write you up for things that no one ever gets written up for. They may start to create situations that guarantee you will fail. Then, within a few days or weeks, you will get fired for those issues.
Typically, if you can show that these actions began after you reported something to HR or your union, you can show you were the victim of wrongful termination and retaliation.
Wrongful termination can be the result of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation. Employers will try to demonstrate that you were fired from work for a legitimate reason.
However, you can usually demonstrate that issues only began after you reported an event or refused a sexual advance. Additionally, you may show that you were replaced by a person who was not part of your protected class to help streamline or better diversify the workplace. When these issues occur, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
To Find Out Whether You Have a Case Worth Pursuing, Contact the Derek Smith Law Group Today.
If you were the victim of wrongful termination in the workplace, you need an employment lawyer to help you fight for justice. The employment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles can help. Call us at 800.807.2209 for a free consultation.