Was your termination lawful?

You may have been employed at will where your employer could let you go without giving any reason or notice beforehand. However, there are instances when your termination could still be unlawful.

Your employer can only dismiss you legally if they have justifiable reasons that are not against the law. Here is what you need to know about unlawful terminations.

What was the reason for your termination?

Your employer may cite poor performance or other reasons for your dismissal. However, if they fire you from your job because of your race, gender, age or your inclusion in some other protected classes, it is a violation of your constitutional rights.

Equally, it is illegal if you were dismissed because you filed a discrimination charge or participated in the investigation of an incident at your workplace. That is considered a retaliatory act by your employer.

You need evidence to show your termination was illegal

Proving wrongful termination can get tricky since your employer is also likely to argue their case. Therefore, you need to come prepared with evidence to back your case. 

The evidence may include email exchanges, testimony from colleagues and performance reviews, among others. Anything to dispute your employer’s reasons for terminating will come in handy.

You can sue your employer for wrongful termination

It is possible to file a discrimination charge against your employer if they discriminated against you. You can file with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the federal agency, or the New York Division of Human Rights, the state administrative agency. If you are a resident of New York, you can file your claim with the New York Commission of Human Rights.

All the three bodies work together, so it may be unnecessary to file your claim with each agency.

Protect your legal rights

Do not let an employer infringe on your legal rights by letting your wrongful termination slide. As a victim, you need to safeguard your rights and get the justice you deserve.

super lawyers
New York County Lawyers Association
New York City Bar
NELA Advocates for Employee Rights National Employment Lawyers Association
lead counsel lc verified