When you lost your job, you may have felt completely caught off guard. You may have thought that you were doing well, avoiding behavioral issues and getting along with most, if not all, of your co-workers. Still, you ended up in a meeting with your boss where he or she dismissed you from your position.
Because the sting of the firing feels immediately hurtful, you may have questioned your employer about his or her decision to let you go. However, you feel as if you did not receive a satisfactory answer, especially when you know that other workers perhaps should have faced the chopping block before you. You may begin to wonder whether you were possibly the victim of wrongful termination.
What constitutes wrongful termination?
It may first be important to note that even if you feel a firing was unwarranted, it may not necessarily mean that you were treated unfairly. Employers may have many valid reasons for dismissing employees, even if individuals feel that they performed their duties well. When it comes to wrongful termination, you may want to consider whether your situation has similarities to any of the following scenarios:
- Employment contracts - If you signed an employment contract that indicated how long you would perform a certain service, you should have protection from termination until that time period ends. Therefore, if your employer dismissed you before the completion of that time, you may have reason to take legal action.
- Discrimination - You may believe that your employer fired you from your job for reasons rooted in discriminatory beliefs. If you feel that your race, gender, national origin, religion or other factor protected under anti-discrimination laws affected your employer's decision, your case may meet the legal definition of wrongful termination.
- Retaliation - The possibility may exist that you faced dismissal because your boss retaliated against you. If you refused to carry out illegal acts for him or her, went on family leave as allowed by law, or reported the company for violations before your dismissal, your firing may have been an illegal act of retaliation.
These three examples represent only a few instances that could indicate wrongful termination. If you feel that your situation suits any of these or another situation in which you faced a violation of your rights, you may have reason to take legal action. A consultation with an attorney concerning your legal options can help you determine your best course of action.