Wrongful Termination And Discrimination Tonawanda

Wrongful Termination Tonawanda

In Tonawanda, “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 Tonawanda 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.


Legal Advice Regarding Employment

Wrongful Termination Lawyers - Where Can I Find Them?

Has your employment been terminated? Do you think it was a wrongful termination? Knowing the employment law is vital to understand your legal rights. Florida is one of a number of states where individuals work at-will. This means that an employer can fire someone at anytime, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Seeking the advice of a Florida employment attorney can be beneficial in getting a valid claim initiated as each step of a case has specific timelines in which actions must be accomplished.Florida has no law dedicated to wrongful termination, but there are state and federal labor laws that do protect employees from a wrongful dismissal based on certain criteria and circumstances. But laws can be changed, modified, or added at any time by the government and the Florida judicial system. A knowledgeable and experienced wrongful termination lawyer can explain all of your legal rights and what is needed to present your case for a favorable resolution.FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT LAWS The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibit discrimination based on an employee's race, color, age, religion, sex, and national origin.The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on an employee's disability or against someone who is believed to have a disability.The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 has been amended overtime and today includes prohibited discrimination against an employee based on marital status, citizenship status, and pregnancy.The FLSA guarantees employees certain workplace rights that employers cannot violate. Two examples of employees' rights are: the ability to assemble to form a union and to be paid an overtime rate for hourly employees working more than 40 per week. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against or dismiss employees for asserting their rights as allowed by law or statue.FLORIDA EMPLOYMENT LAWSIn addition to discriminatory classes prohibited by Federal laws, Florida law makes it illegal to discriminate or dismiss someone based on having AIDS/HIV or sickle cell trait.Florida law enforces all Federal law and prohibits discriminatory employment actions if an employer has at least 15 employees. In Florida, an employee must be at least 40 for an allegation of age discrimination and there must be at least 20 individuals employed. An employer only has to have four employees for a wrongful termination based on citizenship status.Employees with employment contracts may not be at-will employees. If the contract specified in writing that they will not be fired during a certain period of time and then were fired during this timeframe, it may be a breach of contract claim.Florida allows terminated employees to file a lawsuit for fraud, emotional distress, injuries and violation of public and federal policies. These types of cases are called Tort and become personal injury cases. ADDITIONAL LABOR LAWSBoth Federal and Florida employment law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against personnel who exercise their rights to be absent from the workplace due to mandatory active duty military leave, jury duty, and to care for serous medical situations involving themselves or family members, as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.Anyone who decides to file a claim for wrongful termination must file with a government agency before pursuing a personal lawsuit. On a Federal level, a claim can be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in Florida, it would be the Florida Commission on Human Relations.If you believe that you were wrongfully dismissed; today would be the best time to talk with a wrongful termination lawyer.

Employment - Disclosure of Information - Breach of Confidence

Can I Sue My Former Employer For Wrongful Termination Wrongful 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.