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Columbus Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Columbus Wrongful Termination Lawyers

If you have ever been wrongfully terminated, you know how frustrating it can be. But how do you know whether you have a legal wrongful termination claim? Although employment in Ohio is governed by the common law doctrine of employment-at-will, there are, of course, exceptions. Below, we discuss some of the circumstances that can give rise to your ability to sue for wrongful termination and, in some circumstances, bring connected claims:

Who Can I Sue?

Any employer can be sued for wrongful termination, including but not limited to NGOs, private businesses, and governments.

The Law and Connected Claims

In Ohio, any employee who is discharged in violation of an express or implied contract, law, or public policy, is considered to have been “wrongfully discharged” and can sue: 

Wrongful Termination in violation of public policy: In these circumstances, a plaintiff can argue that, even if they were an ‘at-will’ employee, their termination qualifies for an exception because it implicates major public policy concerns and is thus subject to an exception for the tort of wrongful discharge in derogation of public policy. In some circumstances, plaintiffs will point to the Ohio whistleblower statute to support this claim.

Violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): This law protects individuals who are at least 40 years old and prevents employers from discharging them due to their age. The terminated employee must prove that age was the cause of their employer’s decision to discharge them.

Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified employee on the basis of disability with regard to job applications, procedures involved in the hiring process, advancement, discharge, compensation, training, and any other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Depending upon the circumstances, employers can also be sued for the following in connection with a wrongful termination claim: 

  •  Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  •  (Depending upon the circumstances and employer) Termination without a public hearing
  • Estoppel
  • Retaliation

Jury or Judge?

If your claim goes to trial, it will be decided upon by a jury versus a judge. However, some employers will also offer a settlement to try to avoid going to trial, especially if there is evidence indicating that the employer engaged in egregious conduct, which can sometimes result in larger jury awards. In addition, by going to trial and obtaining a verdict in your favor, you risk the employer requesting that the judge reduce the damages awarded, overturn the verdict, and provide them with a new trial. There is also always a risk that the damages awarded may not be released and paid, depending upon the employer’s financial circumstances.

Damages

If your claim goes to trial and the jury sides with you as the plaintiff employee who has been wrongfully terminated, you can be awarded back pay, future wages, attorney’s fees, and, in some circumstances, additional damages.

Contact Our Columbus, Ohio Wrongful Termination Lawyers

If you have concerns that you have been wrongfully terminated, contact our Columbus, Ohio, employment law attorneys today to find out how we can help.

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