Wrongful Termination Lawyer Cost Smithtown

Wrongful Termination Smithtown

In Smithtown, “employment-at-will” laws mean that employers can terminate the employee at any time for any reason. Likewise, an employee may decide to quit for any reason – or for no reason at all – without warning. These laws mean that, in most cases, you do not have legal recourse if you have been discharged from your job, even if there didn’t seem to be any basis for the termination.

In certain cases, however, employment termination is an actionable offense. These scenarios include:

  • You were terminated because of illegal discrimination
  • Your termination was a form of employer retaliation
  • You were discharged in an attempt to prevent you from collecting or obtaining deserved benefits

There are several other situations that could constitute wrongful termination. If you have reason to believe that you were discharged for an illegal reason or on the basis of discriminatory action on the part of your employer, it is crucial that you seek experienced counsel from one of our employment lawyers who is thoroughly familiar with this field of law. You could be entitled to monetary benefits.

Our wrongful terminations attorneys have represented numerous victims of wrongful termination and are prepared to put this experience to work for you. Get help from a firm that is solely dedicated to protecting the rights of workers, unlike other firms in the area.

 

Call 855-596-4657 today to set up an initial case consultation at the firm’s Smithtown location.

What Is a Wrongful Termination?

A wrongful termination is any firing that is illegal. A firing is illegal when it:

  • Violates a federal, state, or local law, or
  • Violates an employment contract.

Just because a termination is unfair doesn’t make it illegal. For example, it might be unfair for your boss to fire you so he can hire his inexperienced niece or nephew. However, because there’s no law against nepotism, you wouldn’t have a wrongful termination claim.

Violation of Federal, State, or Local Laws

The default rule in the United States is “at-will employment.” This means employers can fire employees at any time, for any reason. However, there is one important exception to this rule. Employers cannot fire at-will employees for illegal reasons. Federal, state, and local laws carve out a handful of reasons that are illegal. For example, it’s illegal to fire employees due to their race or gender.

Violation of Employment Contract

Employees no longer work at-will when they have an employment contract. We usually think of employment contracts as being written, but they can also be formed by words and actions. (See our article explaining how employers create employment contracts and alter at-will employment.) A contract employee cannot be fired if it would violate the terms of the contract. Typically, this means that employers cannot fire employees with having a good reason (called “cause”) before the term of the contract is up. Employers also can’t fire contract employees in violation of state, federal, or local laws.

How Do I File a Wrongful Termination Claim?

If your wrongful termination claim is based on discrimination or harassment, you will need to file an administrative complaint first (called a “charge”). You must typically file your charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—or a state agency that enforces antidiscrimination laws—within 180 days of the discrimination or harassment. The EEOC or the state agency will investigate your complaint and decide whether to take action. Most of the time, the EEOC will simply issue a “right-to-sue” letter, which allows you to file your wrongful termination lawsuit in court.

The process of filing an EEOC charge is relatively simple. You can file your claim in person at one of the EEOC’s local field offices or you can file your claim by mail. To file by mail, send a letter to the EEOC with your contract information, your employer’s contact information, an explanation of how you were discriminated against or harassed, and when these events happened. You must also sign your letter.

While you don’t need a lawyer to file an administrative charge, it’s often helpful to do so, especially if you plan on filing a lawsuit down the road. Once you file your claim, the EEOC will speak to you, your employer, and any relevant witnesses. The information that the EEOC gathers can be used as evidence in your subsequent wrongful termination lawsuit. The EEOC may also try to facilitate a settlement negotiation between you and your employer. A wrongful termination lawyer will ensure that you’re receiving a fair offer and that you don’t give up any rights that you shouldn’t.

For most other types of wrongful terminations claims, you aren’t required to file a claim with an administrative agency first (although you may have the option). You can go straight to filing a lawsuit in court. For this, you will almost certainly need the assistance of an employment lawyer.


Sue Your Employer For Wrongful Termination

The Employment Tribunal

Wrongful termination occurs when you are fired in a way that violates public policy and may include situations where you were forced to resign (called constructive discharge). If your employer fired you, or asked you to resign, or if you quit because you felt working conditions were intolerable, you may have a case for wrongful discharge. You need to contact a lawyer and schedule an initial conference with him or her. To make that first meeting as fruitful as possible, you need to provide copies of a number of documents for the lawyer to review. There is a useful list of 18 things your lawyer may want to review presented at: http://employment.findlaw.com/articles/2563.html . A key item for review is a diary or chronology, or a written journal of events, with dates of important employment problems, any opposition you made to employment policies or practices, any participation you may have had in investigation of any discrimination complaint, meetings, and adverse actions taken against you. If you kept such a journal, good; make a copy. If not, start recreating the series of events from memory, emails, documents, your calendar, and whatever else can help jog your memory. This is done most easily on a computer, either as a table in Microsoft Word or as a modified spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. The advantage of using the computer is that when you remember an event that occurred between two events you already have in the table, you can merely insert a new row into the table and fill in the date and details of the event. Having copies of documentation for your lawyer to review will help him or her determine if you have been the victim of wrongful termination.


What is Wrongful Termination?

Employment Law Legal Advice Wrongful termination is a very big term that covers a lot of different scenarios and circumstances. In general, though, it refers to the termination of an employee's contract of employment in violation of the contract, a written company policy. Wrongful termination is illegal, and if you fire somebody without cause, you can open yourself up to some unwanted legal trouble. Make sure you are familiar not only with the state law but also your company's policies regarding employment before you make any employment decision, as it could become a costly error if you don't.As already mentioned, there are several different acts that fall under the greater heading of wrongful termination. The following are the most common examples of such: Discrimination. It is illegal to fire an employee based on his or her race, sex, nationality, religion, age, or (in some states) sexual orientation. Retaliation. It is illegal to fire an employee because he or she has filed a harassment or discrimination complaint. Such a termination is considered a retaliatory action, and is illegal under civil rights laws. Refusal to commit an illegal act. If you have ordered an employee to commit an illegal act - hide funds, say, or shred documents - and he or she refuses, it is illegal to fire that employee. Failure to follow termination procedures. Most employers of a certain size have a policy in place that describes the conditions under which an employee can be fired, and what procedures must be undertaken. If these written procedures are not followed to the letter, the fired employee may have the right to sue you for wrongful termination. It's important to know that, in some states, employment alone is considered an employment contract, and that no physical document has to be signed by either party for there to be a legally binding agreement between the two. The terms of this contract may be influenced by your company's employee handbook. If you are an employer, you may want to consider discussing the legality of any employment issues with a qualified employment attorney beforehand, as it can help you avoid the potentially damaging wrongful termination lawsuit. These court cases can drag on for well over a decade, if they go to the top courts. It is definitely better to be cautious in this situation. To find out more about employment law, visit slaterandkennon.com.