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Can I be Fired for This? The Basics of Wrongful Termination

Can I be Fired for This? The Basics of Wrongful Termination

You just got fired from your job and you think it was totally unjustified. You were a high-performing worker who always went above and beyond. Is it wrongful termination?

While wrongful termination is illegal, you first need to understand what constitutes wrongful termination, as there is a legal definition. A wrongful termination is when you are fired for an illegal reason, such as a violation of anti-discrimination laws or a breach of contract. 

Keep in mind that Ohio is an at-will state, so you can be fired for a variety of offenses unless they are illegal in nature. Read on to learn more. 

In What Instances is Termination Illegal?

Here are some examples of wrongful termination:

  • Discrimination. Discrimination refers to termination based on protected classes such as age, race, gender, religion, disability, pregnancy status, or sexual orientation. Any type of derogatory statements about a person’s race or age, for example, can be considered discrimination.
  • Harassment. Harassment occurs when co-workers or supervisors create an unhealthy working environment through their words or actions. It may be sexual in nature and may not be discriminatory. 
  • Breach of contract. Breach of contract occurs when a company violates a written contract or contradicts the employee handbook. An example would be if an employee was hired for a specific period of time and was fired before the contract expired.
  • Retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employee is fired from their job after exercising their legal rights, such as reporting illegal behavior or filing a workers’ compensation claim. 
  • Constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer manipulates an environment and makes the working conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced to quit. This often involves changing the terms of the employment without notice, such as changing work shifts or reducing one’s pay.

What are My Options?

If you have been wrongfully terminated in Ohio, there are legal options available. Your first step should be to discuss the situation with your employer. Talk to human resources about the situation. If nothing is done to remedy the situation, contact a lawyer. 

An employment lawyer can assess your case and help you understand your legal options. If you were wrongfully terminated under the law, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the employer. Depending on the case, you may be able to receive a variety of damages, including back pay, owed commission, punitive damages, reinstatement of your position, attorney’s fees, emotional distress, and any statutory damages required by law. 

Keep in mind that wrongful termination claims can be tough to prove. Your lawyer can help you get the evidence you need.

Contact an Employment Lawyer Near You

If you have been terminated from your position, make sure it was done legally. If not, your employer could be sued and punished in other ways.

Do you have questions about wrongful termination? If so, the Ohio employment lawyers at Marshall Forman & Schlein can help you understand your legal rights. To schedule a consultation,  Call (614) 463-9790 or fill out the online form.

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