When workplace discrimination leads to a wrongful termination

| Mar 2, 2018 | Workplace Discrimination |

Wrongful terminations can happen for many reasons. For example, a worker could get unlawfully terminated in a way that violated his or her written or verbal contract, or in retaliation for reporting an environmental law violation. In some cases, it’s easy to prove that wrongful termination occurred because there’s a clear paper trail to support the terminated employee’s claims. In other cases, it’s a little more difficult to prove, for example in the case of discrimination.

Wrongful termination as a result of discrimination can be difficult to prove because — while it could be the secret motivation for a firing — an employer might skillfully obscure the reasoning by providing an alternate reason or excuse. Ultimately, however, discriminatory wrongful termination usually happens in the following two ways:

Wrongful termination because of someone’s protected status: Imagine your employer doesn’t like you because of the color of your skin, your foreign accent, your religious affinity or your political affiliation. If your employer fires you on this basis, it will be a clear violation of state and federal anti-workplace discrimination laws. Supporting evidence exists, perhaps through the employer’s history of wrongful termination on the basis of protected status, proof of the employer’s discriminatory comments or writings to you and witness corroboration of your story, you might have a viable case.

Wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting discrimination: Another way that discriminatory wrongful termination happens is when an employer fires an employee for speaking up and complaining about the on-the-job discrimination he or she has endured. State and federal laws protect employees from retaliation for bringing discriminatory behavior to light in their efforts to make it stop.

Have you been victimized by on-the-job discrimination? This legal issue takes numerous forms, so if you suspect that you’re being discriminated against, don’t discount the possibility. Be sure to investigate your situation thoroughly so you can take appropriate and lawful action to protect your civil rights.

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