Suing Company For Wrongful Termination Schenectady

Wrongful Termination Schenectady

In Schenectady, “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 Schenectady 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.


Work Legal Advice

Employment Lawyer Federal Organizations

Wrongful termination is defined as an employee who was fired from their employment against company policies or for reasons that are not legal. There are several important factors to consider if you think that you might have been wrongfully terminated.I Think My Contract Was BreachedIf you had a contract or other bargaining agreement with your employer, then your employer must be sure to follow contractual obligations when firing you, or they may be liable for wrongful termination. Employee handbooks and guidelines are not equivalent to a contract. If you think that your contract has been violated, you should contact an attorney who is familiar with wrongful termination and contractual law in order to get a professional opinion about any possible violations.I Didn't Have a Contract But Still Think I Was Wrongfully Terminated If there isn't a contract, your employer doesn't need a reason to fire you. Your employment is considered employment at-will, in which your employer is able to fire you and you are able to quit your job as desired. If you feel your firing was unfair, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have been wrongfully terminated.Wrongful termination does happen, though, and employees who were fired are eligible for protection, provided that they were truly wrongfully terminated. Besides breaches in contract, wrongful termination includes:· Discrimination: racial, religious, sexual or other· Violations of state laws (such as a violation of state laws dictating maternity leave)· Employer retaliation (such as firing an employee for whistle-blowing or refusing to participate in illegal activities)If you think that you have been wrongfully terminated, the first step is to file a complaint. The reason for your wrongful termination will determine who you file your complaint with. If you suffered from discrimination, your complaint should be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have only 180 days after being fired to file a complaint with the EEOC, and fewer if you worked for the federal government. Breaches in contract will most likely need to be filed with your state's labor office.If you are confused about how to file a claim or with whom to file it, you should contact your state labor office or an attorney who specializes in wrongful termination, discrimination, or contractual law.In most states, you must file a complaint before you are able to pursue a lawsuit against an employer. Making sure your claim is solid and accurate will increase the chances that your claim is upheld and that you are able to proceed with a lawsuit, so contacting an attorney early on can pay off later. If your claim makes it to the lawsuit stage, you will be able to ask for certain damages stemming from your wrongful termination: · Lost wages or unemployment benefits· Severance Packages or Job Reinstatement· Punitive Damages· Unclaimed Benefits· Attorney FeesWrongful termination is against the law and employers who engage in it can be held responsible for their actions. Your state labor office or an attorney who specializes in employment or discrimination law can help you in your legal process.

Wrongful Termination: 18 Things a Lawyer May Want to See When You Meet

Employment Law Legal Advice

The defendant resigned and found employment with one of the claimant's competitors. Shortly after her resignation, the claimant discovered that the defendant had sent three e-mails to her personal e-mail account prior to leaving the company. The e-mails concerned:

* Presentations she had made to the claimant's customers;

* Feedback which customers had given in relation to the claimant's services; and

* Prices of the claimant's products.

The claimant was of the opinion that the information contained in the e-mails was confidential and therefore violated the terms of the defendant's contract of employment. The claimant confronted the defendant with its discovery.

The defendant said that she had sent the e-mails to her personal e-mail account in error, and offered to let the claimant view her personal e-mail account to show that she had not breached the terms of her contract. The claimant tried to persuade the defendant to stay in its employment, but was unsuccessful.

The claimant then instructed its solicitors to write to the defendant alleging that the defendant had breached the terms of her employment which amounted to breach of confidence. The claimant also requested the return of all its materials which were in the defendant's possession. The defendant replied to the letter stating that the e-mails were not sent to anyone else, and that once the error had been discovered, she had not even opened them.

The claimant did not respond to her letter. They instead issued proceedings against her and applied for an interim injunction. They alleged that the sending of the e-mails to her personal account amounted to her 'using' confidential information in contravention to her contractual obligations. They also alleged that by her failing to immediately return their materials, she had further breached the terms of her contract.

The claim was dismissed. The court held the where the e-mails had remained unopened the confidential information had not been 'used' in a way which amounted to breach of confidence. Although she had not immediately returned the materials, she had previously offered the claimant the permission to view her personal e-mail account and to delete the e-mails relating to the claimant's confidential information.

In addition to this, the court held that the information which was the subject of the claimant's complaint was utterly innocuous and that the claimant had reacted totally disproportionately. The matter should not have been taken to court and the defendant's undertakings had been adequate.

© RT COOPERS, 2006. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.