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Avoiding Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

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While every business hopes that each hire turns out to be a positive one, there will Joker123 come a time when you have to fire an employee. It is important when going down that road to ensure you are doing it for the right reasons and following proper protocol. Firing an employee without just cause can result in a wrongful termination claim, which can be a time-consuming, draining and expensive process that ultimately damages your brand. Here’s what you need to know about wrongful termination and how to avoid it.

What is considered to be a wrongful termination?

In the eyes of the law, wrongful termination is a firing for an illegal reason according to an employment contract, federal law or state law. For example, it would be considered wrongful termination if you fire an employee for any of these reasons:

  • Sexual orientation: As an employer, you can’t just decide you don’t approve an employee’s sexual orientation and fire them for it.
  • Sexual harassment: If you fire an employee because they were sexually harassed – e.g., as retaliation for reporting their harassment – you could face a wrongful termination lawsuit that results in you paying for the employee’s emotional pain.
  • Age: Firing older employees because of their age is considered age discrimination.
  • Race: You can’t discriminate based on the color of one’s skin. All employees, no matter their skin color, need to be treated equally.
  • Retaliation: It is against the law to fire an employee whoraises concerns over an illicit activity (a whistleblower) or even files a complaint for the company to be investigated.
  • Religion: The law protects all religions, and you can’t force employees to participate in yours. In addition, employees can’t be fired for requesting time off to observe religious holidays.