It's never easy to lose a job, even if you don't particularly enjoy it. This is even more so the case if you feel that you were treated poorly, such as being wrongfully terminated.
There are many things to understand about wrongful termination, including the following five points:
- Anti-discrimination laws: It's illegal for an employer to take action against you on the basis of a legally protected characteristic, such as gender, race, religion, national origin, age, disability or pregnancy.
- You may have a contract: If you signed a contract upon starting your job, your employer must live up to the terms and conditions. After termination, review your contract carefully to ensure that you've received everything owed to you.
- Retaliation is real: There are federal and state laws in place to protect you against retaliation. This often comes into play if you blow the whistle on your employer for any reason.
- Protected time off: If you qualify for protected time off, such as through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your employer is not permitted to terminate your employment as a result.
- You can seek damages: If you're unable to work things out with your ex-employer, you can seek damages related to your wrongful termination including back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and reinstatement among others.
If you have any reason to believe you were the victim of wrongful termination, collect as much information and evidence as possible. With this in hand, you can then learn more about your legal rights and decide how to best proceed. With the right approach, you may be able to secure compensation.