For a conscientious employee, the prospect of being fired is a daunting one, but also one that seems quite unlikely. If you do your job well, why should you be fired? In an employment-at-will state, it can be for almost any reason at all, but some employers go too far. One woman in Indiana has been forced to sue her former employer for wrongful termination after the company fired her for obeying the law.
She worked for Goshen’s Crane Composites Inc. as a human resources manager. With due diligence, when she discovered an employee had provided false identification, she fired him. However, this was only the beginning. The fired worker revealed that many of the plant’s workers constituted illegal employees and that he himself had worked there previously under another name.
She launched an audit to discover the extent of the situation. However, her supervisor instructed her to accept any identification given and sign the forms without inspecting them. Unwilling to disobey federal laws in this manner, she refused to adhere to these conditions. She also communicated with the firm’s Illinois headquarters about the situation with the undocumented workers.
Ten days later, she was fired, allegedly for not being a team player. In her subsequent lawsuit, she claims wrongful termination and seeks $500,000 in punitive damages, along with a further $1.5 million to cover compensatory damages and economic loss. Nevertheless, after relocating her family for the job, she is at a loss as to what will happen now.
Cases like this are all too common and can only be combated if employees are willing to stand up and defend their rights. This is where an attorney can be of particular assistance, helping you to prepare your case so you can challenge your employer in the courts. By doing this can you begin to pursue compensation and justice for your unfair dismissal.
Source: The Elkhart Truth, “Former HR manager says she was fired for refusing to hire illegal immigrants,” Jeff Parrott, May 20, 2014