Many relationships between an employee and employer are considered “at-will”, meaning that an employer may let go or fire an employee or an employee may quit at any time. Although an employer in such instances does not need to provide a reason for terminating the employee, there are instances where the termination is illegal in New York and other States across the nation.
Employees are protected under federal, state and many local laws from discrimination, including discrimination on the grounds of a person’s gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, race or religious beliefs. Employees are also protected from retaliation from an employer in instances of whistleblowing, such as when an employee reports illegal activity by an employer to authorities.
Depending on the situation, a contract may not be honored and an employee may be fired before completing the terms of the contract. Such a breach of contract is also grounds for a wrongful termination. Other wrongful termination instances may include an employee taking time off to care for a sick family member, maternity or paternity leave and time off to vote or for military service.
If you believe you have been a victim of wrongful termination, it is important to address the situation as soon as possible. The first step is to file a complaint against your employer with the your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. It may also be in your best interests to seek advice and counsel from a law firm familiar with employment law to see what other opportunities may be available to you.
Source: Findlaw.com, “Was I Wrongfully Terminated From My Job?” Accessed Nov. 8, 2016