When an employee is terminated from work, inquiry must be made as to the ground of termination. The law provides legal grounds that will permit employee’s dismissal. Otherwise, employee is given unfair dismissal rights in case of wrongful termination.
Wrongful Termination Suits
If an employee believes that the cause of dismissal is unlawful and unreasonable, a wrongful termination case may be filed against the employer. Employee may avail of legal remedies which may include money damages or negotiation for an appropriate severance package.
Illegal Grounds for Termination
Wrongful termination means that an employee has been filed for illegal reasons in the eyes of law. Illegal reasons for termination may comprise the following:
- Constructive dismissal;
- Dismissal in violation of federal or state anti-discriminatory laws;
- Dismissal by sexually harassing the employee;
- Dismissal in violation of the provisions of the employment contract or agreement;
- Dismissal by way of retaliation due to employee’s complaint or claim against the employer.
Damages and Awards
Statutory penalties are provided in view of the above dismissals. In case of violation, employers are asked to pay damages based on the terminated employee’s lost wages and other expenses.
In case of blatant violation, a terminated employee may be awarded punitive damages. A wrongfully dismissed employee may even ask for other remedies as may be provided by law.
What to Do if Wrongfully Dismissed
In case of dismissal, the following steps may help improve the employee’s position:
- Negative instincts against the employer should be avoided.
- Lawyer’s advice and representation should be sought.
- Provisions on the employment contract or agreement must be checked.
- Reason/s for termination must be inquired into.
- The person who made the firing must be known.
- Personnel file should be viewed.
- Severance package or agreement must be requested and negotiated.
- Agreement regarding the termination or severance must be confirmed.
- Company property in possession must be returned.
A dismissed employee is entitled to severance pay, damages or unemployment compensation depending on the circumstances not to mention a valid employment claim against the employer.
A wrongful employment attorney should be consulted know one’s rights upon losing a job and how to protect such rights.From the author: California Wrongful Termination