Even if you were dismissed “for cause,” you may have a claim for wrongful termination in Oklahoma against your former employer if you feel you were fired for an illegal purpose. Because initiating a wrongful termination claim may be difficult and entail intricate legal processes, consulting with an attorney may be beneficial. We’ll go through what constitutes wrongful termination and how an attorney may assist you.
In the United States, most workers are self-employed. An employer may terminate an employee for any lawful reason or no cause under an at-will employment environment. On the other hand, at-will workers cannot be dismissed for illegal reasons. Most workers in most states are assumed to be at-will employees unless they have a contract with their company that indicates otherwise. In their employee handbooks, many firms often declare that workers work at their own discretion.
Although employers are not required to provide a reason for terminating an at-will employee, they often do so. In this situation, the termination is a “for cause” termination.
Termination for Illegal Reasons
An employer cannot lawfully terminate someone for violating an employment contract or breaking the law. Firing in violation of anti-discrimination legislation, firing as a form of sexual harassment, firing in violation of labor regulations, and firing in retaliation for an employee’s complaint against the employer are all illegal grounds for termination.
Cases of Wrongful Termination
When examining a wrongful termination case, an attorney looks for evidence to show that the termination was illegal, regardless of whether the person was dismissed for cause or for no reason. The following are some common considerations:
Violation of Employment Contract
If you were hired under a contract, your employer was required to follow the terms of the contract. If your contract expressly states that you may be dismissed for any reason, your employer cannot terminate you for a cause not included in the contract.
The majority of workers do not have signed contracts. Any other cause for termination is a violation of the employment contract if you have a contract that restricts the grounds for termination. An attorney may help you evaluate your contract to see whether it has stated grounds for termination.
Employer Policy Breach
Discipline processes may usually be found in an employer’s policies. An attorney can help you establish whether your company failed to follow a punishment policy. Your employer may have broken an implicit contract in this instance.
Whether you were fired for claimed performance issues, your lawyer will want to see if other workers were fired for the same reasons. If not, your lawyer will look for proof that your employer discriminated against you because of a legally protected characteristic such as your gender, color, handicap, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.
Your lawyer will look for information to show that the stated cause for termination is incorrect. When an employer employs a bogus reason for termination as a cover for the genuine, illegal cause, it is referred to as a “pretext.”
Whistleblowers and Retaliation
If you filed a workplace complaint or “blew the whistle” on unlawful activities at work, your attorney will advise you on whether you have a claim for retaliation. If the reported action is found not to be unlawful, the reporting employee is still protected as long as the report was made in good faith.
Your Case’s Evidence
Your attorney will want to go over any accessible employer paperwork while examining your case. This usually contains your personnel file as well as any paperwork pertaining to the grounds for your dismissal. If you were fired for poor performance, your lawyer would want to go through any records connected to your performance during and after your employment. Employee evaluations and performance reviews are crucial in determining whether you were treated differently from other workers.
If you were continuously given good ratings during your career but were dismissed for poor performance, it’s possible that your employer was covering up an illegal cause for termination.
Your lawyer will almost certainly inquire whether any witnesses can provide information about your performance and firing. You and your attorney will also go through any pertinent papers, policies, and employee handbooks.
Wrongful Termination Factors to Consider
Your attorney will evaluate your financial losses while assessing your case. A dismissed employee may receive damages in a wrongful termination action, including lost salary, lost benefits, potential emotional distress penalties, and potentially punitive damages. You may also be entitled to attorney’s costs if you win your case against your employer.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Wrongful Termination? Locate One in Your Area
If you feel you were unlawfully terminated, you should speak with an attorney. The legal procedure may be complicated, and your attorney can help you through it. If you suspect you have been discriminated against because of your protected status, you should speak with an employment lawyer in your region right away.