It's not always easy to understand what it means to be wrongfully terminated from your job. There is a lot that goes into this, so it's important to collect as much information as possible as to clear the air and help you determine which steps to take next.
As you probably know, there are laws in place to protect employees who exercise their rights in regards to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Readers who pay attention to pop culture and celebrity news may have heard that Taylor Swift has been in the news lately in connection with groping claims. What’s going on is this: she countersued a former radio DJ for assault and battery after he filed a defamation lawsuit in which he claimed entitlement to damages for his termination from the radio station where he formerly worked.
We have previously written on this blog about the ongoing legal dispute between Minnesota hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Laboratories and former employees who accuse the company of wrongfully terminating them from their positions. Several lawsuits were filed against Starkey following the termination of numerous employees in connection with a scandal involving financial wrongdoing within the company.
Last time, we began looking at the topic of wrongful termination, specifically as it relates to the rule of at-will employment. As we noted, there are a number of exceptions to the rule under state and federal law. The rule can also be modified by contract as well, as often happens with executive level employees and in collective bargaining agreements.
Job security is a valuable thing, even when you’re underemployed, and most people like to think that they have reasonable job security. To think otherwise is difficult. Job security can be looked at a couple ways, though. First, there is job security seen from a practical standpoint—an employee’s likelihood of being terminated. Most employees who are tuned into the nature of their work and the feedback they routinely receive from their employer probably have a pretty good idea where they stand in this area.
In addition to the statutory protections we have mentioned in previous posts, there are also common-law or court-created exceptions to the at-will employment rule. For example, states may recognize certain exceptions to the rule based in public policy, such as termination based on refusal to commit a prohibited act, engaging in acts that are in the public interest, exercising statutory rights or reporting a violation.
Previously, we began looking at the topic of at-will employment, noting both the general rule and the fact that there are important exceptions to the rule, including contractual protections and illegal discrimination statutes. Protection against employer retaliation is another important exception.
When an individual is terminated from his or her position on upsetting terms, there is a tendency to feel that there must be some sort of legal recourse to punish the employer. In some cases, there surely is, but in many cases, there is not. Knowing how to determine when there may be recourse is important.
We have previously written on this blog about the wrongful termination claims against Starkey Laboratories. At this point, the company has been hit with three wrongful termination lawsuits. The latest development in the ongoing litigation is that two of the lawsuits have been transferred to federal court.