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What is a wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2020 | Employment Law

There are many reasons that Oregon residents may lose their jobs. During difficult economic times, many workplaces reduce their staffs or close due to a stagnant economy. Individuals who are hired as at-will employees may be released from their positions without statements of cause. And, when workers fail to perform their job tasks, they may be let go due to insufficient performance.

However, there are specific and protected bases on which workers cannot be fired from their jobs. When terminations happen under these circumstances, they are considered wrongful and in violation of the law. This post will briefly discuss wrongful terminations. Readers are encouraged to contact their employment law attorneys with questions as this post provides no legal advice.

What makes a termination wrongful?

A wrongful termination is one that violates the law or violates the terms of an employee’s contract. For example, when a worker is let go from their job because of their race or religion, they experience a wrongful termination because such employment actions are prohibited by federal anti-discrimination laws. Similarly, when a worker is fired for speaking up about the wrongdoing of their employer, their termination is wrongful as their whistleblower status should protect them from adverse employment actions.

In some cases, workers may be fired for refusing to perform work or tasks that fall outside of their employment contracts. In addition to violations of the law, violations of employment contracts can also lead to wrongful terminations.

What can be done after a wrongful termination?

If a worker believes that their termination was wrongful, they can contact an employment law attorney who represents employees in work-related disputes. Depending on the type of violation that their employer committed, a worker may have different options for how to approach addressing the wrongs that they have suffered. When they meet with their employment law attorney, they can discuss the terms of the employment contract, examples of wrongdoing they observed from their workplace, and other information that can guide the path of their wrongful termination case.