Were You Fired For The Wrong Reasons?
Wrongful termination occurs when the reason for firing you is against the law. In Ohio, most employment relationships are considered to at will, which means that an employer and/or employee may terminate the employment relationship for any reason, no reason or even a stupid reason. An “at-will” termination can be with cause or without cause. In plain language, this means that you can walk into your manager’s office and quit at any time without notice and your manager can fire you for any reason at any time.
But not all reasons stand up in court. The attorneys at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm can help if you suspect an Ohio company wrongfully fired you.
Understanding What Exceptions Exist To At-Will Employment
But, there are exceptions that make a termination wrongful, including:
- Protected class: Employers cannot fire employees based on an employee’s race, gender, national origin, religion, age, military status or disability.
- Protected activities: Employees are also protected from employment discrimination based on their choice to engage in certain protected activities, such as taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), filing a workers’ compensation claim, complaining of wage violations, reporting safety violations, opposing illegal acts or making other whistleblower claims.
- Retaliation: Employers cannot fire an employee for opposing discrimination or for participating in an investigation concerning employment discrimination.
- Illegal acts: Employers cannot fire employees for refusing to commit an act that the employee perceives is illegal.
- Contractual obligations: An employment contract may provide that an employee may only be terminated for the specified reasons provided in the contract or after certain procedures are taken. Handbooks typically will not meet the requirements to form an employment contract, but it is best to let an experienced employment attorney review any written materials to determine what your rights are.
There are a variety of legal remedies for victims of wrongful termination in Ohio. Depending on the situation, a fired employee may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the employer and seek damages for lost wages, benefits, emotional distress, attorney fees and more. However, wrongful termination claims may be tough to prove and typically require the assistance of attorneys who focus on the area of employment litigation, such as the qualified legal team at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Termination
Were you terminated unlawfully? Here are a few questions Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm sees often when it comes to wrongful termination. Of course, these are merely a jumping-off point and should not be taken as legal advice: