How Do You Tell If You Have a Case for Wrongful Termination?


Quick Answer

A wrongful termination suit is based on a situation in which an employer fires someone for reasons involving discrimination, fraud, retaliation or in violation of public policy, explains Nolo. Broken promises and breaches of fair dealing and good faith also constitute wrongful termination.

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Full Answer

Employees who believe they've been fired based on discriminatory reasons can sue for wrongful termination, but they must first file a complaint with a state or federal agency, says Nolo. Factors such as age, race, religion, gender and disability may not be considered when firing someone. Employers who knowingly make false promises or deceptively induce someone to resign may be guilty of fraud, which can be used as grounds for a wrongful termination suit. Employees engaged in legally protected activities, such as filing a complaint with a state or federal labor agency, may not be fired for doing so. Firing employees because they're engaged in civic activities, such as voting or serving on a jury, is illegal.

Wrongful termination may be involved in situations where written and implied promises about job duration or promotions are broken, explains Nolo. Firing employees to prevent them from collecting commissions, or misleading them about job conditions, may constitute a breach of faith. Some courts do not recognize the good faith principle, and some states require the existence of a valid contract to sue on this basis. Most employment is at-will, which means employees may be fired at any time, for any reason.

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