The at will type of employment opens a lot of possibilities for the employer to terminate an employee without any legal grounds. This is because an at will employment allows the employer to get rid of an employee from the company at any moment, provided that the employer has legal reasons. As such, an employee can also get out of the office at any moment so long that he or she has valid reasons.
However, there are some instances wherein this law is being abused. Employees are the ones being victimized by such abuse, since employers may think that they are in the authority to do whatever they want without realizing that they can be sued. An employment and labor law attorney can always help in case of aggravations.
Meanwhile, the following are some instances where termination can be considered wrongful.
- Discrimination by the employer. Employers must understand that they cannot terminate an at will employee on the basis of their participation in certain categories. Such categories comprise race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and place of origin.
- Illegal acts. Employers should not terminate an at will employee who refuses to do an illegal act ordered by the employer
- Retaliatory discharge. Employers are not allowed to fire an employee who reported an employer’s misdemeanors within the company or to a reporting agency. This usually happens after a conduct of sexual harassment.
- Breach of contract. Both parties, the employee and employer, should comprehend the conditions stated in the contract and must abide such statements.
- Taking leave for medical purposes and reasons. The Family and Medical Leave Act offers regulations for employees who wish to take leave for family or medical reasons. Thus, employers should not eliminate employee for taking such leave.
- Violations of the company’s termination processes. A wrongful termination can be called if the employer himself did not abide the termination methods written in the company’s handbook.
The abovementioned accounts are all in accordance to the law. If in case any of the above has been violated, the wrongdoer can face legal actions after the court. The employee can seek help from an employment and labor law attorney and ask for expert advice that may be accommodating and supporting to the case.
If proven that wrongful termination has been committed, the employee can receive compensation for the damages that the termination has caused him or her.