Wrongful termination is a legal situation wherein an employee’s contract has been terminated by the employer in a manner that breaches one or more terms of the employee – employer contract. The scope for wrongful termination follows not only the terms written in the contract itself but also according to local government. An employee may find his or her contract obligations outlined by an employee handbook, but for further understanding it might best to inquire of local Columbus attorney Ted Morgan.
Being terminated for any of the items listed below may constitute wrongful termination here in Columbus, Georgia:
- Discrimination: Employers cannot fire employees due to race, nationality, religion, sex, age, or in some cases sexual orientation.
- Retaliation: Employers cannot fire employees if claims of discrimination are made.
- Refusing to participate in or commit an illegal act asked by an employer
- The employer is not following the termination procedures as outlined by company policy.
- Wrongful termination, if proven, can lead to two results: reinstatement of the employee, and/or monetary compensation for the wrongfully dismissed. An employee that is fired not under contract or a bargaining agreement is in most cases covered under by the “employment at will” law. Under this law, employees can be terminated at any time without reason. It also entails that an employee may quit without reason. Employers are also not required to provide notice of termination under the “employment at will” statutes.
One way an employer can avoid wrongful termination is by placing new employees in a “probation period” where new employees are hired only for predetermined periods of time and are terminated unless there is sufficient justification not to do so. Employers may also hire through temporary job agencies, where they do actually not hire the employees themselves. In this situation an employer sheds most liability if they decide to terminate an employee as that employee is employed by the temp, agency rather than the employer.