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Indiana Supreme Court considers wrongful termination suit

One of the responsibilities of being an employer is appropriately handling disputes with an employee. Both parties are obligated to honor their employment contract. If either one is in breach of it, this can lead to termination of the contract, or even legal disputes. If an individual feels they have been treated unfairly by their place of work, the repercussions can be severe. In Indiana, a local union has approached the Supreme Court over a matter of wrongful termination of employee contracts.

The United Auto Workers, which represents a large proportion of Madison County employees, filed a lawsuit against the county. The lawsuit named an assessor and a former recorder, the two of whom are accused of the wrongful discharge of their workers.

The accused have been suggested to be in violation of a collective bargaining agreement. However, the agreement was determined in court to have been made by officials who were exceeding their authority to enter and bind all elected officials within its strictures. When the accused were advised to reinstate the employees who were dismissed because their termination violated the terms of the agreement, they refused. The Court of Appeals credits them with a right to hire and fire their employees as they see fit.

Termination of a contract can occur for a number of reasons. Although it is sometimes a matter of the employee failing to fulfil his or her work obligations, termination may instead be done as a form of retaliation or for some other reason that is illegal. Nevertheless, the unexpected loss of a job is difficult to deal with. The sudden financial instability can in turn have a massive impact on an individual's life, well-being and even their family.

Indiana's employment laws aim to protect its workers from unfair treatment. It is important to know your rights and be willing to stand up for yourself if you have been wrongfully dismissed. In this way, you can work toward the best possible resolution for yourself and your family.

Source: The Herald Bulletin, "UAW taking lawsuit to Indiana Supreme Court," Ken de la Bastide, Feb. 19, 2014

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