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Did wrongful termination take place?

Wrongful terminations can be bad for both an employer and employee. The employee can file a lawsuit, while the employer then has to defend against the allegations. Sometimes, the media gets involved, and this can hurt the employer's business.

In either case, it's important for each party to have the appropriate legal help. Employers know that employment is on an at-will basis, so they have the right to let an employee go at any time for any reason except for those protected by law. That means that employers won't be able to fire someone for his or her race, sex, gender or other protected reasons, but employers can terminate a position with no reason given.

An employer can let an employee go at any time as long as that isn't done in a discriminatory manner. If an employee feels he or she has been discriminated against, it's up to him or her to prove this in court. Employees who feel their jobs are threatened should record reasons why, collect evidence and discuss their concerns with the appropriate channels, like through the human resources division of the workplace.  Similarly, employers considering termination need to make sure that they have handled all the steps leading up to termination in the proper manner.

Even those people who have not yet been hired may have a case if they find they were not hired despite meeting the job's specifications. In that case, the person would have to prove that another party was chosen due to being a different gender, having a different sexual orientation, living without a disability, and so on. If the potential employee can prove discrimination took place, then he or she may have a strong wrongful termination or discrimination case against the employer.  For that reason, employers need to understand that employment laws apply to the hiring process as well. 

Good legal advice can prevent an employer from taking steps that might harm an employee or applicant.  Similarly, good legal representation can help an injured employee or applicant obtain appropriate redress.

Source: FindLaw, "Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job?," accessed Dec. 29, 2015

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