When someone feels that they have been terminated or let go from their job for a reason that was unlawful, they may be able to file a wrongful termination claim against their employer. Someone is considered to have been unlawfully terminated if they were discharged in violation of discrimination laws, as a result of refusing to succumb to sexual harassment or in retaliation because an employee has brought a claim against their employer.
Someone may also have a case for wrongful termination if their employer let them go in violation of verbal or written agreements or in contradiction of labor or collective bargaining laws. If an employer is found to be guilty of a wrongful termination, they may face statutory fines as well as being obligated to provide compensation for the terminated employee.
When someone has been let go, it is a good idea to gather as much information as possible about the termination. Individuals should attempt to find out who made the choice to eliminate them from their position, request their personnel file and review their employment contract. It is also generally a good idea to avoid resigning instead of being fired if at all possible.
If someone has been wrongfully dismissed, they have a variety of options for handling the situation, including seeking legal recourse and attempting to negotiate a severance package. A lawyer may be able to help someone understand their best option based on their circumstances as well as either representing them during negotiations or in court. If someone seeks a severance package, a lawyer could help them ensure that their agreement is equitable based on their situation.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Wrongful Termination Claims", September 11, 2014