Most people have heard the phrase “wrongful termination,” but many do not question the difference between a wrongful termination and a termination until they find themselves without a job after being fired. If you have been fired from your job, and you want to know if you were wrongfully terminated, start by considering the definition of the term.
Defining “Wrongful Termination:”
The legal definition of wrongful termination is very specific. Legally, wrongful termination is a firing that occurs for an illegal reason like discrimination, a breach of contract, or retaliation. For example, an employer cannot fire an employee due to their gender, their religion, their race, a disability, etc. Wrongful termination based on workplace retaliation is generally in reference to an employee who reported illegal activity or unlawful business practices on the part of their employer. In this type of situation, the employee who reported the wrongdoing is referred to as a whistleblower, and certain employment laws protect whistleblowers from adverse actions. Any adverse actions toward a whistleblower in the workplace are considered retaliation and are against the law.
The Difference Between Wrongful Termination and Unfair Termination:
Many people who are fired from their job feel their termination was wrong or unfair – particularly if it was without cause. However, to qualify as wrongful termination, the employer must fire the employee for an illegal reason – it’s not enough that it was wrong, or that it wasn’t fair. The crucial aspect of any wrongful termination claim is showing that the reason behind the termination was not lawful.
You May Have a Valid Wrongful Termination Lawsuit:
If any of the following factors resulted in your employer firing you from your job, you may have a valid wrongful termination lawsuit:
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Implied Contract
- Whistleblower Retaliation
- Retaliation for Refusing to Perform Illegal Actions
- Protected Time Off (for instance time off work under FMLA)
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, and need to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, contact Armstrong & Vaught P.L.C., Tulsa’s Premier Workers’ Compensation, Employment, and Social Security Law attorneys. We have the experience you need on your side.