Employee Rights in Termination

What is an "At-Will" Employee Relationship

An employee rights in termination can be somewhat limited especially since there are so many States that have an “At-Will” Employment Relationship.

An “At-Will” employment relationship means that either the employee or employer can end the employment relationship for any reason, or no reason at all, at any time without notice.

That is a tough pill to swallow if you are an employee that was just fired.

Has Your Employer Discriminated Against You?

An exception and what would give an employee rights in termination would be if the employer was taking an employment action, i.e., termination, based on discriminatory reasons.

For instance if the employer was terminating the employee because they were Jewish, Christian, or any other recognized religion. This might be hard to prove unless you could demonstrate that the employer (could be any management official with the power to make employment decisions) has made negative comments about your religious beliefs. As an example if the employer said something like, “All Jews are just alike!” Perhaps they said something like, “It seems like all Christians think they should have Sundays and Wednesday evenings off!”

What if Your Employer Asks You To Do Something Illegal?

If this is the case and you were terminated because you requested a Sunday or Wednesday night off to attend church services you may have some grounds. Understand I am not an attorney nor is anything I convey in this article to be considered legal advice. What I will say is I have a great deal of experience and the above example would be well worth looking into utilizing a legal professional.

Another example that may give an employee rights in termination would be if you refused to follow the direction of your supervisor because they asked you to perform a task that was illegal. Perhaps your supervisor asked you to dispose of a hazardous material into the regular waste stream and you refused. Maybe they asked you to not ring something into the cash register in order to avoid taxes. Even worse maybe they directed you to terminate someone simply because they were over forty, another one of the protected classes.

Yet another example that may give an employee rights in termination would be if they were terminated for not performing an unsafe act. This is more common than you think for some of these shoestring budgeted companies. Perhaps they directed you to climb a ladder that was not rated to your weight. Another example might be is your supervisor directed you to use a chemical that was against the product labeling. This is not only unsafe it can be illegal.

Is Everyone Being Treated the Same?

Something else that might give an employee rights in termination, although much harder, is if you are being terminated for something that many others have done without experiencing any consequences. As an example if you have been tardy and end up being terminated for that, yet many others in the organization are commonly tardy without any consequences you may have some rights. This is still very difficult if you are within a State that has an “At-Will” employment relationship. In addition, you may have some trouble proving that the other employees have been tardy, since they will most likely not support you once you are gone in fear of their own jobs.

Primarily the only thing that offers an employee rights in termination would be for those items mentioned above. Please understand that these were only examples and there are many more real life scenarios, such as, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment that would also give you rights if you were terminated.

If you were terminated and you believe it was unfounded I would strongly encourage you to seek legal advice. But like any service you can receive good advice and bad advice. Sometimes you get what you pay for. If an attorney will not take your case on a contingency my guess is that you don’t have a good chance of winning.

If that is the case I would suggest that you get another job and move on! You will probably do yourself more harm than good.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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