Chillicothe Wrongful Termination Attorney

Ohio employers may legally terminate a worker, with or without cause, under the state’s doctrine of employment at-will. However, it’s a violation of state and federal law for an employer to fire an employee on the basis of certain characteristics, such as the individual’s age, race, gender, or disability. In addition, employers cannot legally dismiss an employee for reporting violations of workplace regulations.

Fortunately, workers can recover compensation for wrongful termination against employers that engage in illegal practices. If you are an employee who was recently dismissed and feel that discrimination was a factor, a knowledgeable employment lawyer can review your circumstances and explain your legal remedies. You may also find some background information useful.

Statutory Protections Under Ohio Law

Termination may be wrongful when an employer retaliates against an employee for engaging protected activities, including:

  • Filing an injury claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or the employer’s insurer;
  • Serving jury duty;
  • Refusing to participate in an unlawful act;
  • Reporting violations of the law to relevant agencies; or,
  • Taking time off work for reasons covered by law, such handling a family illness or reporting for duty with the US Armed Forces.

Under both federal and Ohio law, it’s also illegal for employers to engage in discriminatory practices against workers on the basis of:

  • Race;
  • Religion;
  • Gender;
  • Status as a former member of the military;
  • A physical or developmental disability;
  • National origin; and,
  • Other traits.

Filing a Claim for Wrongful Termination

Ohio employees who were fired for reasons relating to discrimination can file a claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) which handles cases based upon violations of state law. At the federal level, a worker may opt to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There is some overlap, so it’s wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney about which of two options provides the most favorable outcome. A lawyer can also assist with filing and throughout the process.

Written or Implied Promises

It’s also a violation of law for an employer to dismiss a worker when the termination conflicts with a promise, whether made in writing or orally. Examples include:

  • A guarantee of employment through a defined duration;
  • Oral assurances of continuing employment; and,
  • Written provisions regarding discipline and termination procedures, which are detailed in an employee manual.

Although there may be challenges in proving wrongful termination in the absence of documents or paperwork, it may not be necessary to present a signed contract to establish a cause of action.

Potential Remedies

The OCRC and EEOC encourage employers and workers to engage in the mediation process as an approach to resolve wrongful termination matters. If mediation doesn’t sufficiently dispose of all disputes, the aggrieved employee has the option of filing a lawsuit. He or she may be eligible to receive financial damages for a favorable verdict, such as:

  • Back wages;
  • Front pay;
  • Reinstatement or advancement;
  • Reimbursement for losses incurred as a result of termination;
  • Legal costs; and,
  • Damages intended to punish the employer for wrongdoing.

Contact a Chillicothe Wrongful Termination Lawyer About Your Claim

If you were recently terminated from your job and have concerns about your employer’s misconduct in doing so, please contact an employment attorney at Marshall & Forman, LLC. Our knowledgeable legal team serves clients in Chillicothe, Columbus, and throughout the Central Ohio region, and we’re happy to discuss the details of your case.