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Your rights when you lose or leave a job

No one takes on a new job intending to leave it; however, many individuals in New York and elsewhere start and leave jobs each and every day. While this can happen for amicable reasons, this is unfortunately not always the case. In some situations, an employee may have left a job due to a hostile work environment, after an employee reported illegal activity or was terminated or disciplined illegally.

Regardless of the situation, employees should understand their rights when they lose a job or leave a job. While employers do not usually need to have a specific reason to fire an employee, they cannot fire or discipline for illegal reasons. This means that an employee cannot be fired as a means of unlawful discrimination or an act of retaliation for reporting an employer or employee for illegal acts in the workplace.

In cases when an employment contract does exist, an employer may require a specific legitimate reason to fire you. If no such reason exists or can be proven, this could give rise to a wrongful termination claim.

It is important to note that one of the most important rights an employee has is to be free from discrimination. This means that an employee cannot be mistreated or fired bared on his or her race, national origin, sex, religion, disability and age. Additionally, in some cases sexual orientation and marital status also count. Other illegal reasons for firing an employee include forming a union, being part of a union, complaining about or reporting an unsafe condition, complaining or reporting about illegal activities in the workplace and asserting legal rights.

If you believe your rights have been violated, causing you to be fired or leave a job, it is important to understand your rights. This also means documenting as much of the matter as possible, as this will help evidence the situation. Those dealing with this or any other employment law issue should take the time to understand their options. This could help them file an action and even collect damages arising from the matter.

Source:, "Your Rights when Losing or Leaving a Job," accessed April 9, 2017

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