WRONGFUL TERMINATION

Wrongful Termination

If you have recently been fired and believe that you were treated unfairly, you may have a claim for wrongful termination. While human rights laws in New York City and New York State provide that workers are employed “at-will” – meaning you may be fired at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all – there are many exceptions to this rule.

It is not illegal for your employer to terminate you as a result of downsizing or for a number of other lawful reasons. In fact, an employer in New York State generally does not need cause to justify your termination. However, an employee who is terminated under suspicious circumstances may be a victim of wrongful termination. Such circumstances include:

Discrimination

If you were fired because of your status as a member of a protected class, you have been discriminated against and may have a valid claim for wrongful termination. Your employer cannot lawfully terminate you because of your age, disability, pregnancy, race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation, nor can your employer lawfully terminate you in retaliation for complaining to a superior about being discriminated against.

Sexual Harassment

If you have been terminated because you were the victim of unwelcomed sexual advances, or sexual harassment you may have a claim for wrongful termination. You have the right to be employed in a workplace free from discrimination and if you were fired after complaining about being sexually harassed or for complaining about being employed in a hostile work environment, you should contact the wrongful termination lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer for a free consultation to determine the viability of your claim.

Whistleblowing

Under state and federal law you have the right, under certain circumstances, to disclose corruption, illegality or other wrongdoing in the workplace to the proper authorities. An employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for taking such action and if you are thereafter fired, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.

Violation of Durational Contract

An employee hired under contract explicitly stating the terms, conditions and duration of employment is not generally deemed at-will and may only be terminated before the expiration of the contract according to the terms and conditions of the agreement. If your employer fired you in violation of your contract, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.

These are just a few of the many grounds that may warrant a claim for wrongful termination. However, you are required to act diligently to mitigate your damages. In other words, you have the responsibility to seek employment new job and may be entitled to the difference in pay between your old job and the new job, as damages. The best way to determine whether you have a valid wrongful termination claim is to consult with a New York wrongful termination lawyer. The employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer can help you determine whether your termination contravened the law or whether it was in fact lawful.  Damages for wrongful termination may include lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.