The end of the year can be an especially stressful time for employees. It’s a time when companies often undergo restructuring, layoffs, and reviews. Unfortunately, some companies may take advantage of the holiday season to terminate employees without proper cause. This raises the question: is end-of-year wrongful termination common?
The Crone Law Firm examines wrongful termination and provides some key insights for workers. If you feel you have been fired or let go from your job without cause, contact us today in Memphis, Chicago, or St. Louis to schedule a free consultation.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. Illegal reasons include discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and violation of public policy. For example, if an employer fires an employee because of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, it’s considered discrimination and is illegal.
End-of-year wrongful termination is not necessarily common, but it does happen. Companies may use the holiday season as an opportunity to terminate employees for various reasons, such as cost-cutting, poor performance, or restructuring. However, if an employer fires an employee illegally, it’s considered wrongful termination.
Legal Protections Against Wrongful Termination
Employees have legal protections against wrongful termination. These protections vary by state, including anti-discrimination, anti-retaliation, and breach of contract laws. Also, federal laws prohibit wrongfully terminating an employee as punishment or retaliation. Here are some examples:
- As the year ends, several older employees lose their jobs while many younger workers do not. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects workers who are 40 years of age or older from age discrimination.
- After enduring months of lewd comments from coworkers, you file a complaint with your supervisor. You are fired at the end of the year, even after receiving stellar performance reviews. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects you from retaliation after filing a sexual harassment complaint.
- Your employer declares that cutbacks are necessary at the end of the year, but only colored workers are slated for termination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also protects you from wrongful termination based on your race, color, or national origin.
- Your collective bargaining contract stipulates that workers must be selected according to seniority when layoffs are necessary, with the newest workers being laid off first. However, your company randomly selects workers for layoff who are at differing levels of seniority. You should consult an Employment Law Attorney to help you review your state’s breach of contract laws and your employment contract for possible violations.
What to Do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated
If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, there are certain steps you should take. First, review your employment contract and employee handbook to determine if your termination was lawful. If you believe your termination was illegal, consult an experienced Employment Law Attorney from The Crone Law Firm. We can review your case for free and advise you on your legal options. It’s important to act quickly if you’ve been wrongfully terminated. There are usually strict time limits for filing a complaint or lawsuit, so it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.In addition, you may want to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s labor department. These agencies investigate claims of discrimination, retaliation, and other illegal employment practices.While end-of-year wrongful termination may not be common, it’s important for employees to be aware of their legal rights and protections. Contact The Crone Law Firm in Memphis, Chicago, or St. Louis to schedule a free consultation if you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated. We can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Remember, it’s never too late to seek justice and hold your employer accountable for illegal employment practices.