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How can I tell if I was wrongfully terminated?

Losing a job can be difficult in many ways for a New York resident. You don't get paychecks anymore, you may lose friendships you've established with co-workers, your social status may take a hit and your future becomes shaded under a cloud of uncertainty. Although employers have the right to fire employees, there are reasons a termination of employment is unlawful.

Wrongful termination examples include: getting fired in violation of state or federal anti-discrimination laws or labor laws, such as collective bargaining agreements; as a result of a sexual harassment dispute; or in retaliation for a complaint filed against the employer. These rights are protected and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various whistleblower laws, when applicable.

If an employer is found guilty of wrongful termination, the penalties vary, depending on the situation that led to the employment termination. They may result in statutory penalties, a payment of lost wages and expenses to the employee, the reinstatement of the employee's job and even possible punitive damages to the employee.

If you're fired, it's important not to say or do anything that you may regret or that may jeopardize a possible wrongful termination lawsuit. First, it is important to collect information about the termination, such as who fired you, and what grounds the employer is using and evidence to support the employer's decision. It may also be important to review any contract or agreement you have with the company, and check the company's employee handbook, if you have one.

Source:, "Wrongful Termination Claims," Accessed Aug. 18, 2015

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