Due to the poor economy there have been an increasing amoung of lay-offs and terminations, sparking a huge surge in wrongful termination lawsuits.
A wrongful termination attorney will study 4 areas of the law to determine whether their client has a case, including federal and state statutes, public policy, good faith and fair dealing, and implied contracts. Grounds for a wrongful termination case include anti-discrimination laws (e.g., firing a person because of race, age, sex, religion, sexual preference, positive HIV/AIDS tests, disability, height, weight, arrest record, marital status, genetic carrier status and military service).
If employers violate a public policy, they have likely planted the seed for a wrongful termination case. Some examples of violating public policy include:
- Whistle blower retaliation
- Termination of an employee over 40 (with no just cause) and replacing them with someone younger
- Refusal to break the law at the request of the employer
Some mistakes made by employers that could result in a wrongful termination lawsuit are listed below...
The Employee Manual does not properly address procedures for termination.
The context in which managers deliver termination communication is important: ambiguous statements, such as "If it was up to me, you'd still be working here," or "It looks as though we most likely won't be able to keep you on," may cause a legal situation.
Managers who neglect to document policy violations and inadequate performance make it challenging to support the company's defense. Managers must support any employment actions, including performance reviews and subsequent write-ups for poor performance, and firings with complete and appropriate documentation.
Documents that include managers' personal remarks, hyperbole and emotionally laden rhetoric will benefit the employee in a wrongful termination case. Your employer or immediate supervisor can easily add inappropriate comments when documenting violations such as wrongful conduct, intoxication or drugs, tardiness, unsatisfactory work quality, or violation of safety rules.
An employer must respond calmly to an employee's behavior and make sure to have a witness in the room as well as the supervisor. An employee should be fired in a controlled, calm and professional manner.
If you have been in any of these situations, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. It is crucial to your settlement and imperative that you have an experienced professsional that understands the law. If you have a wrongful termination claim, please give my office, The Law Office of Todd M. Friedman, a call today at (877) 449-8898