Wrongful Termination: What You Need to Know

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination is a legal issue.

I am not a lawyer (IANAL).

I read questions on Internet forums every day.  Often these questions are about handling termination situations.  A Company fires a person.  The person goes on the Internet to get advice on suing the company that fired them.

The people responding with advice give their qualifications. They state that they are people with so many years of experience in management. They state that they have so many years of experience in human resources.

However, pursuing a settlement in the courts for wrongful termination is a legal matter and is often a complex legal matter.  Before you threaten to sue your employer, I recommend that you get legal advice from an attorney.

No One Law for Wrongful Termination

There is no single law for termination.  The federal law has restraints for termination.  For example, under federal law, a company cannot fire you based on religion, race, nationality, or age.

In one case, I witnessed a major lawsuit in which one of my clients fired hundreds of employees.  Many of these employees were over forty.  The employees sued the company.  I do not know the bases for the lawsuit.  However, the company had to rehire every one of these employees.  Then the company offered a severance agreement to these employees.  In the end, the employees had the option to accept the agreement and leave the company or to stay at the company.

A second condition, employment laws vary from state to state.  In some states, companies can require employees to agree not to go to work for a competitor.  These contracts usually limit the agreement for a certain amount of time after leaving a company.  Some states do not allow companies to impose that restriction on employees.  Before signing that type of agreement, research the legality of that agreement in terms of the contract and in terms of your location.

From the Internet, here are some articles on wrongful termination.

Furthermore, employment agreements vary from company to company.  In terminating someone, a company cannot terminate someone on terms that violate the agreement in the employment contract.

In conclusion, I do not recommend that you act solely on the advice from an Internet forum.  I especially recommend that you take careful steps in cases of wrongful termination.  You have rights.  Your employer has rights. Act intelligently in protecting your rights.

Image credit: Jay Wren