Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. Indiana is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer does not need a reason to end your employment. However, certain reasons for termination violate state and federal law.

Learn more about the factors that constitute wrongful termination or wrongful discharge in Indiana.

Public interest violations

Your employer cannot fire you for refusing to commit an unlawful or immoral act or go against public interest or policy. If your employer asks you to do something illegal and the company fires you after you refuse, you could have a wrongful termination claim.

Whistleblower retaliation

You cannot lose your job for filing a complaint about your employer’s safety hazards, discriminatory actions, illegal activities or unfair practices. In addition, your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim but does not have a legal obligation to preserve your job if you do so.

Discrimination

If you believe discrimination played a role in your termination, you may have a federal or state legal claim. Your employer cannot fire or demote you because of your disability status, age if you are 40 or older, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, gender or race.

Contract breach

If a written contract, oral contract or collective bargaining agreement governs the terms of your employment, you may have a breach of contract lawsuit if the employer ends your employment in opposition to the terms of the contract. For these purposes, the court may also view an employee handbook as a contract. While the company can end your employment, they must follow the provisions in the contract to do so or risk legal action.

Bad faith

Indiana prohibits your employer from firing you in bad faith. For example, your company cannot fire you to save money when you have a big bonus scheduled next month.

Depending on the specific reason for the termination, you may be able to file a lawsuit in either state or federal court.