Firing from your job is a stressful moment, especially if you did not expect it. But, what if you were illegally fired? The truth is that you can be fired at any time for whatever reason (or without any reason at all). This is called the “at-will” rule, where the employment ends your employment for whatever reason.
There can be exceptions at this so-called “at-will” rule, and you can use the law to help you keep the job or even sue your former employer for firing you wrongfully.
Situations That Would be Considered Wrongful Termination
Contracts, Written Documents, and Implied Promises
If you have a contract or other form of a written statement that secures your job, you already have a piece of strong evidence that your employment was not an at-will. For example, you have signed a contract that says that your job can be ended only with a good cause for reasons that are stated in the contract.
Some people have offer letters or other written documents that promise them continued employment.
If you have any of those, you can use them in court. If you are not sure how to do that, you can always hire a Connecticut employment attorney to help you in the process.
You can also use implied employment contract (this is an agreement that is based on the things your employer said and did). It is another way that you can fight back the “at-will” rule. Most employers think twice before making any promises for continuing employments. If your implied employment contract clearly states that you were promised permanent employment (or that you will work in that company for a definite period), you have a good proof for court.
The court will use this document but will look at several things, such as the duration of your employment and how often you got promotions. Also, they will check for your positive performance reviews as well as assurances that you would have continuing employment. Finally, the court will check if your employer has anyhow violated the contract by firing you without warning, or if they promised you long-term employment when they hired you.
Breaches of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
If you were illegally fired, you could file a claim for a breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing. The court will rule whether your employer has breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing if:
- They fired you to prevent you from getting sales commissions. Your employer cheated about your potential promotions and increased salary.
- They fabricated the potential reasons for firing you when their actual motives were to hire someone else who will work for a lower salary.
- They lied that you should do things that would make you re-consider the job, such as working late at night, traveling to dangerous areas, working with risky machines, for example.
- They assigned you to work things that are dangerous and generally less wanted by other employees. In a way, your employer forced you to quit because you were no longer able to do the job. So you quit without collecting severance pay or another benefit that you should normally get.
In some states, the court is not accepting this “good faith and fair dealing” as an exception to the “at-will” rule. Some states will require a legitimate employment contract before you can actually file a lawsuit for a breach of good faith and fair dealing.
You might get fired because of discrimination. This is wrongful termination and is illegal, and if you are sure that your employment termination happened due to discrimination against your gender, religion, age, pregnancy, race, color, or nationality, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The time limit is strict when it comes to a discrimination lawsuit. Before filing such a lawsuit, first, you need to file a complaint about discrimination with a federal agency or a state; after that, you can sue your employer.
You could file a lawsuit for defamation if your former employer made false and malicious statements that ruined your chance for new employment.
You can sue for defamation if your former employer wrote a false or malice statement, told this statement to at another person, and harmed you anyhow by writing or saying the statement. Such statements may cause you to lose your job or ruin your chances of finding a new one.
Call Aeton Law Partners if You’ve Been Illegally Fired
Our experienced attorneys offer representation to employees on a broad range of issues ranging from contract negotiation to wrongful termination and breach of contract. Call our business and employment law firm and schedule your first consultation. Let us answer any questions you have about employment matters and help you file a lawsuit.