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Top 5 Ways to Be Wrongfully Terminated

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 27, 2011 6:44 AM

Have you ever been wrongfully terminated?

It's natural to answer this question in the affirmative, but the truth is that wrongful termination exists in limited situations.

Legally, wrongful termination only occurs when an employee is fired in violation of a contract or employment laws.

To put this in perspective, the following are the most common ways to be wrongfully terminated.

1. Discrimination. It is illegal to fire someone in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Employees fired for discriminatory reasons often have a claim for wrongful termination.

This includes sexual harassment.

2. Retaliation. Many workplace laws protect persons who complain about legal and safety violations. If fired after complaining to an employer or the government, you may have been wrongfully terminated.

3. Contract violation. Employers generally must adhere to written and oral contracts. This includes employee handbooks and discharge procedures.

Breaches of company policy may also be cause for a lawsuit.

4. Collective bargaining. Employees cannot be fired for attempting to unionize or discuss workplace conditions. Violations of the National Labor Relations Act are often the basis for wrongful termination suits.

5. Refusal to Act Illegally. Employees may have a case if fired for refusing to engage in illegal activity. This includes refusing to violate safety regulations, work off the clock, or participate in fraud.

Now that you have a better understanding of wrongful termination, have you ever been wrongfully terminated? If you have, you might want to contact an attorney. You may be entitled to back pay or a severance package.

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