Coming Back from Wrongful Termination

Coming Back from Wrongful Termination

Jun 11

Times are hard, and holding on to a job is essential. Sadly, it can be an uphill climb. All states in the U.S. subscribe to employment at-will, where private employers have the freedom to terminate an employee at any time without having to show just cause. There are exceptions, such as when there is an employment contract or the employee handbook implies that an employee will not be terminated without just cause. When an employee is terminated in contravention of these written or implied contracts, it may be considered wrongful termination.

In a state such as North Carolina, where an implied contract such as the verbal promise of the employer that termination will be based on just cause is not recognized, there are fewer grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. The sudden and unexpected loss of employment can have disastrous results, such as on child custody and visitation agreements. The unemployed parent will have a hard time contesting a petition for modification of these agreements or to convince the judge that it is in the child’s best interest to get custody when money is tight.

However, there are some circumstances when termination is definitely illegal, and that is when the basis for termination is discrimination for membership in a federally-protected class of people. These include but not limited to termination due to age, gender, gender-related medical conditions, genetic information, race, ethnicity, nationality, and disability. It is also possible to come back from wrongful termination when it is an act of retaliation. Employment lawyers in New York and most other states are always quick to discover any whiff of discrimination in a particular termination case because discriminatory practices are not longer acceptable socially or legally.