It can be a worrying thing to consider that, since Indiana is an employment-at-will state, most employees could be dismissed from their job at any time. There does not even need to be a reason. However, all employees have certain rights which protect them from being dismissed in a retaliatory fashion. This is to ensure that an employee cannot be punished for exercising his legal rights.
We saw in a previous article that retaliation need not even be direct. In the case we looked at, the employee felt that her dismissal stemmed for her husband’s refusal to accommodate sexual advances from a school principal. There are various circumstances protected under federal or state law which cannot legally be used as a reason to dismiss an employee. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Refusal to do something illegal.
- Filing a claim for workers’ compensation.
- Stating intent to file for workers’ compensation.
- Exercising one’s statutory rights.
- Reporting violations of the law or any misuse of public resources. This is known as whistleblowing.
Of course, as is explained here, there are far more areas that may be protected. If you feel you have been dismissed for any of the above reasons, or for another reason that might constitute wrongful termination, you may be able to claim compensation or even be reinstated into your job. An attorney can explain your options and may be able to help you choose the course of action that is best for you.