Wrongful Termination White Plains
In White Plains, “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 White Plains 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.
Wrongful Termination: 18 Things a Lawyer May Want to See When You MeetWrongful termination can be a devastating experience that not only affects your career in the short term but can also affect your ability to get back on your feet and find a new job.Firstly, your specific job and the employment contract that you signed and the local employment laws that govern where you live may largely determine whether or not you are a victim of wrongful termination.For example, if you signed a confidentiality agreement and there is verifiable proof that you violated this aspect of your agreement, this would most likely be a legitimate example of being fired for cause ie. the company had the right to fire you.Another example would be if you were caught stealing from your employer.But what if the circumstances regarding your termination aren't as clear?Often when an employee is fired, it might be on the basis of a perceived problem or disagreement of opinion such as your inability to do the job. Here are some other typical reasons that people get fired where a case of wrongful termination may exist: A personal conflict with your boss and/or colleagues that results in you getting fired. A breach of contract where you are improperly fired for violating part of your contract. A downsizing where you are told that your job is being eliminated only to find out that your employer then hires someone to replace you in the exact same position. Being fired or forced to quit so that your boss can hire a friend to replace you. Sexual harassment ie. you are sexually harassed and when you rebuff the advances or report them, you are fired. Discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc. You report a wrongdoing in the company and are fired ie. you are a whistleblower. These are just some of the reasons where a case of wrongful termination might exist. Certainly your specific situation and the employment laws that govern your area of employment may take precedence.How Can You Minimize The Chances Of Wrongful Termination?Wherever possible, always document your work and keep hard copies of any emails or other written documentation that positively comments on your work. For example, if you receive a positive employment review from your boss, bring a copy of it home and keep it on file.If you receive written praise from peers regarding a project you worked on, keep a copy of it at home.I'm not suggesting you remove work-related material and take it home with you if it violates your employment contract or if it's the property of the company but keeping a copy of personal materials that you should be entitled to such as a performance review is legitimate especially if your manager gives you a copy to keep.If you are unsure, ask your manager if you can keep a copy of your performance review at the time it is given to you. In this case, I suggest taking a copy home with you because in the case of a firing or downsizing, you might not be allowed to take anything out of the office or to access your computer.As a recruiter, I've seen job searchers use recent performance reviews from their current employer to highlight certain skills or accomplishments they are proud of.Having written documentation that positively highlights your work track record can come in handy down the line if you need to illustrate your past performance especially if comments being made about you by an ex-employer contradict positive comments that were written about you earlier on.If you feel that you are a victim of wrongful termination, the first thing you should consider is getting legal advice to properly understand your situation from a legal perspective and whether or not you have a legitimate case.
Wrongful Termination During Workers' Comp - Disability Leave
Employment law on constructive dismissal states that claims could be based on your employer's breach of employment contract. This may involve a violation of any specific term or condition in the employment contract, the staff handbook, or the job advertisement for the position. It may also involve breach of implied terms like the employer's duty to reasonably act or duty of care towards employees.
If you think and feel that you are forced to quit your current job or that your employer is treating you badly that there is no other option but to leave, you may take advantage of the employment law on constructive dismissal. You may file for a constructive dismissal claim when you file for a resignation because of your employer's actions that practically and logically make it impossible for you to carry on your job. The employer may also be treating you severely. As the heart of the employment contract, constructive dismissal might be caused by a particular action by the employer or a series of unlikely events.
Common instances that would automatically qualify you to use the employment law on constructive dismissal include changing of your job description, abrupt cutting of your pay, and sudden alteration of working location or hours, and refusal of the employer to improve inhumane or intolerable working conditions. Breaches of implied terms in fundamental employment contracts usually include the employer making it impossible for you to perform your job tasks or failing to give reasonable support for you to do your job without any disruption. Employment law on constructive dismissal even covers any form of harassment from your fellow workers and wrong/unfounded accusations of theft.
To be able to qualify, you must have been employed by the employer for at least a year. However, if the employment has not reached that required period yet but you have evidences that could prove you were dismissed automatically due to unfair reasons, you could still take advantage of this employment law. How could you file for any dismissal claim? If you think you could no longer stand how your employer treats you, file a formal grievance at once. Explain why you are anxious and unhappy with your work. Under normal grievance procedures, the employer has up to 28 days to respond to your grievance. Experts advise that you try to be as flexible as you could be as well as constructive and reasonable in trying to reach a resolution for your problem with your employer. A compromise agreement may be a viable option.
You may not be covered by the employment law on constructive dismissal if you have entered into a compromise agreement with your employer. But that does not mean you would not be entitled to any form of compensation. That is why you should hire the best and most reliable employment solicitors around. You definitely need sufficient and helpful guidance and advice when applying for constructive dismissal claims and signing compromise agreements so you could make sure you would be able to protect your welfare.