An experienced wrongful termination lawyer can determine your best course of action
If you feel you have been the victim of wrongful termination, you are not alone. Recent trends show that wrongful termination lawsuits have spiked nationwide.
These cases are now number one among all lawsuits concerning labor law. Anyone who has been fired from their job for suspicious reasons needs an experienced wrongful termination lawyer on their side.
Information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reveals that employee lawsuits have risen nearly 400 percent in the last 20 years.
Analysts point out that such as the Americans with Disabilities Act or 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 have given employees even more protection in the workplace, while also raising awareness of labor law issues.
In tandem with the rise of workers who are more knowledgeable about their own rights, it would seem that employers are now more liable than ever for their actions.
There are over 20 legal grounds for claiming wrongful termination. Here are just a handful of some more commonly cited employer violations:
This includes any and all discriminatory behavior based on age, gender, race, religion, disability, etc. The EEOC reports that 89,385 employer discrimination lawsuits were filed in 2015 throughout the country.
Retaliation, firing an employee for filing a discrimination or harassment complaint with the EEOC, is the biggest reason behind all filed claims, accounting for 45 percent of all charges with 39,757 cases. In Maryland alone, there were 2,349 cases of workplace discrimination filed in 2015.
Breach of contract
Contracts include any written, even some oral agreements made between the employee and the employer outlining expected duties, permitted time off, company policies and procedures and so on. This is often also referred to as violation of written or implied promises.
Breach of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
In relation to breach of contract, this terminology refers to the legal expectation that both the employer and the employee will be honest and faithful to the agreed terms of any contract as they are understood by both parties.
Examples of this kind of breach include any deceptive or manipulative behavior like misleading a worker about potentially dangerous work duties, lying about their chances of bonuses or promotions or consistently giving them undesirable tasks to push them to quit on their own and avoid severance pay.
Violation of public policy
There are state and federal laws in place to protect all employees in certain circumstances. Public policies such as allowing time off for jury duty, voting or serving time in the military.
Firing an employee for exercising certain rights, including the right to file a workers compensation claim, also falls under this category. Employees are further protected by ‘whistle-blowing laws’ in the event that they report an employer violation such as an environmental or workplace hazards to the appropriate authorities.
Any employer who terminates someone with complete disregard for their rights or legal safeguards is violating public policy.
This relates to the circumstances of the termination itself. If the employer harmed the reputation or misrepresented the character of an individual through the termination process, it could call for a defamation claim.
This entails making false or inflammatory statements or accusations that would negatively impact the employee’s ability to find another job.
If an employer’s actions are so extreme in nature or caused such grievous levels of harm to the employee, it may constitute fraud. These cases are usually reserved for extreme instances of blatant deception or false representation that was 100 percent intentional with serious consequences for the employee.
Remember, this list is far from exhaustive. If you suspect you were fired for any unfair reason, you may have a case for wrongful termination.
Losing your livelihood is stressful under any circumstances. Anyone who has lost a job has rights to protect themselves and their families from losing health insurance and becoming financially distressed, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
It is also critical to speak to an attorney who thoroughly understands employment law to determine if your termination may have been unlawful, in which case you are entitled to much more in damages.
The EEOC reports that in 2015, a total of $525 million was awarded to victims of workplace discrimination alone, through both voluntary settlements and litigation.
Speak to a wrongful termination attorney today
Fitzpatrick & Associates has been fighting against wrongful termination for over 20 years. Attorney Christopher M. Fitzpatrick treats every client with the respect and compassion they deserve.
He approaches each case with the same diligence and attention to detail that has resulted in millions of dollars worth in settlements for residents of Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and New York.
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