Wrongful Termination, its concept, Grounds and Lawsuit

Published: 02nd October 2008
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From among the varied areas of our Employment Laws, wrongful termination is, as always a constant issue that many employees face within the course of their employment. Despite all the safeguards and guarantees that the law has given the employee sector, most of them feels insecure and becomes wary about their employment status.

Undeniably, this is a true fact, a hard fact especially for most employees. To this I say, that security in employment is something that is aspired but not guaranteed in the complex employment world.

Being discharged from your job is difficult, especially so when you are being fired wrongfully or illegally, that is, outside permissible legal grounds. The latter part is something destructive, not only for your career but more so for your livelihood, your source of sustenance and living.

For this reason, it is compelling for the employees to address this pressing issue for them to give justice to their present condition, to alleviate their pride and at least clean their names from the effects of such wrongful termination.

By virtue of this article, I would relate the basics about Wrongful Termination, its concept, grounds as well as claims and lawsuits.

Wrongful termination, the concept

Wrongful termination, also coined as wrongful dismissal, or wrongful discharge is a legal phrase that refers to any unfair employment discharge. Regularly, it relates to the situation in which an employee's employment status, whether bourn out by virtue of an Employment Contract or otherwise, has been terminated by the employer wantonly, that is, beyond legal methods.

Wrongful discharge is something tricky to decipher as it can come in different guises, to which may appear per se licit in its face but in fact spiritually wrongful. Worthy to note however, is that not every unfair employment discharge constitutes wrongful termination. The respective laws of each jurisdiction define the grounds that can come under this mantle.

Wrongful termination, the common grounds

Wrongful termination laws are applied and carried out on jurisdictional basis, meaning, that each state has its own set of laws that deal with this matter. There are no Federal wrongful termination laws.

Despite the varied treatment and application of this matter, most state laws that deal with this respect are one in providing the following common grounds:

• Firing an employee for "blowing the whistle" on the employer or as act of retaliation

• Firing an employee in violation of the employer's own discharge policy

• Firing an employee in breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing

• Discharging an employee for filing a worker's compensation claim

• Terminating an employee under the guise of a false statement of fact

• Discharge of an employee in breach of contract of employment or an employer-union collective bargaining agreement

• Firing an employee even if the latter is only reasonably exercising employee rights under relevant employment and labor laws including exercising union rights

• Terminating an employee who has brought or threatened a lawsuit against the employer

• Terminating an employee on discriminatory actuations and ill-will

Wrongful termination, claims and lawsuits

Most Wrongful termination laws give victims of such violations some avenue to ventilate their concerns and to seek relief in their unlikely situations. In general, these laws provide the following avenues for the employees in their legal pursuit:

• Filing complaints with the government agencies (Administrative Tribunals) that enforce the Employment Laws

• Filing private lawsuits

• or both

The foregoing avenues have their own intricacies, by that I mean, they tackle variety of laws; they have their own legal principles and concepts and complexities.

However, irrespective of the avenue chosen, if an employee has sufficient grounds to file a claim or lawsuit against the employer for alleged illegal actions, it is within the right of the employee concerned to press the issue to the chosen avenue, with full guarantee under the law. With this hurdle, it is best to consider hiring an Employment Attorney who has vast knowledge in this area of law, for a more effective and efficient approach to his/her predicaments.

To help you with wrongful termination and other employment-related issues, you can consult with our skilled Los Angeles labor and employment lawyers. You can visit our website to avail of our free case evaluation.

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