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Employment and wrongful termination

There are actually few laws that require Indianapolis employers to be fair when it comes to wrongful termination of an employee from his position - or be fair regarding a number of other employment related matters. Most individuals are at-will employees without any stipulations in our employment contract that can guarantee employment for any particular length of time.

However, employment at will should not be a concept that is used by the employer to arbitrarily get rid of individuals. There are still guidelines, and an attorney experienced in the area of employment law can provide advice and assistance to those that feel they have been wrongfully terminated.

Nevertheless, we do know that employers will frequently fire employees for little to no reason whatsoever. Under such circumstances, an employee manual may contain some language that provides protection as such language could be construed to be a part of the employer-employee contract.

Federal law also prohibits employers from firing employees based upon religion, age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin or disability. Under Indiana law, employers also cannot fire an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim or for refusing to commit an illegal act. There are also a series of federal and Indiana whistleblower statutes that prevent an employer from wrongfully discharging an employee because the employee reported fraud or misconduct on the part of the employer.

An employer may not need a good reason for firing an employee. However, there are certain prohibitions in place that employers have to adhere to or they will find themselves on the other side of a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Source: New Jersey Newsroom, "Employment law misconceptions: Wrongful termination, sexual harassment, disability, and more," by Andrew M. Moskowitz, Feb. 7, 2012

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