Wrongful termination can take many different forms. Take a current case happening in Napa Valley, California, where an employee insists the company fired him wrongfully while the defense claims he resigned after contract negotiations fell through.
It can be tough to identify wrongful termination. However, as long as you believe there is a chance your employer fired you for an illegal reason, then it is worth looking into the matter further.
1. Medical history
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, passed in 2008, protects employees from having their medical histories used against them by employers. By law, an employer cannot fire someone based on susceptibility to a certain illness or due to a family member coming down with an illness.
2. Other forms of discrimination
Bosses cannot fire employees based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status and a range of other factors. In the event an employee believes a termination of employment centered around one of these factors, then he or she must prove it. A woman will not have a case against a male employer if the termination related to subpar performance.
3. Discussion of workplace issues
Employees have the right to discuss workplace-related issues at the office. For example, it is completely legal for employees to talk about improving work conditions or wages while on the job. However, there are limits. If you speak negatively and inappropriately about your boss and your boss discovers this, then termination of employment may still be on the table.
4. “Cause” of termination
Many employees have “at will” employment. In this situation, an employer can fire you for almost any reason, although you still cannot be fired for one of the illegal excuses stated above. However, if your contract states you have “for cause” employment, then an employer needs a reason to fire you. Failure to perform your job’s duties and willful misconduct are common explanations for lawful termination.