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When does a firing constitute wrongful termination?

| Feb 17, 2021 | Wrongful Termination |

New York is an at-will employment state, which means your employer does not necessarily need a reason to end your working relationship. If you get fired, however, you may have a case for wrongful termination under certain circumstances. 

Review the situations considered wrongful termination in New York to determine whether you might be eligible for legal recourse. 

Unlawful termination

You may be able to file a lawsuit if you believe your employer fired you for any of these reasons: 

  • You work in New York City and you received a termination notice after taking sick leave. 
  • You missed work for jury duty. 
  • You took protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. 
  • You filed an employee benefits, workers’ compensation or disability claim. 
  • You tried to form a union or otherwise improve your working conditions or wages. 
  • You lawfully participated in political activities during your time off from work. 
  • You acted as a whistleblower in reporting a safety or other violation in the workplace. 
  • The company is discriminating against you because of your disability, military status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, nationality, sex, gender, religion, race or skin color. 

These circumstances may constitute unlawful termination. 

Contract-protected employees

You may also have legal recourse if you have an employment contract that says the company must have cause to terminate your employment. This is common if you have union representation at your job. However, you may also have a written employment contract. 

In this case, you might only have a limited time to file a grievance depending on the terms of your contract.