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Laws About Getting Fired Illegally. By Federal law, it is illegal for most employers to fire an employee for one of the reasons listed below. However, it is important to note that many state laws are wider in scope than federal law so if you think you may have a case, check with the laws in your state.


This article provides an overview of the most common illegal reasons for firing employees. For detailed information on whether and how to fire an employee (including a checklist that will help you make sure you've considered all the legal angles), get a copy of Dealing With Problem Employees, by Amy DelPo and Lisa Guerin (Nolo). Discrimination


Generally, if you get fired, your employer must pay you all wages owed by the end of the first business day after you were fired. If you quit without at least 48 hours advance notice, excluding weekends and holidays, your employer must pay you all wages owed within five days or on the next regular payday, whichever comes first (excluding weekends and holidays).


Other states have stricter laws. For example, in California, the law requires the employer to pay the employee immediately if the employee was fired or if the employee quit after giving at least 72 hours notice. If the employee failed to give notice, the employer has 72 hours to issue a final paycheck.


Laws have been passed making it illegal to fire an employee for certain reasons. Even if you don’t have an employment contract, you probably can’t be fired because of your: Race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, retaliation, or disability.


“At-will” employment, the labor law of the land in every U.S. state except Montana, means employers can terminate a worker for any legal reason at any time. (Firing a worker because of religion or gender are examples of illegal reasons.) In “Fired on a Whim,” one woman says she was fired over her long nails.


Workers may seek the advice of a private attorney about filing a suit for wrongful termination. Workers may also contact the Human Rights Commission at 1-800-233-3247 if there is a concern about discrimination based on age (40+), race, sex, marital status, national origin, religion, or physical, sensory or mental handicap.


Most states require employers to give departing employees their final paychecks in fairly short order -- sometimes on their last day of work. In some states, these time limits vary depending on whether the employee quit or was fired. Some states require employers to pay out accrued, unused vacation days with the final paycheck; the chart below does not include these vacation pay rules.


As an example, if you fired an employee for complaining that she was not receiving equal pay to the men in similar positions, you may end up losing a retaliation lawsuit even if you end up showing that your pay schedules were not discriminatory based on gender. Wrongful Termination Laws: Refusing to Take a Lie Detector Test ...


Pregnancy Discrimination & Work Situations. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.