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Can workplace discrimination lead to wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Employment Law

Working in a discriminatory environment can be frustrating, as it inhibits an employee’s ability to perform their jobs effectively and can create a hostile work environment. In some cases, workplace discrimination can escalate to the point of wrongful termination.

Wrongful termination due to unlawful workplace discrimination not only deprives an employee of their livelihood but also undermines their sense of dignity and fairness in the workplace. It can lead to long-term damage to one’s career prospects and mental well-being, necessitating legal recourse to seek justice and compensation for the unjust treatment endured.

How workplace discrimination can lead to wrongful termination

The following are some ways in which workplace discrimination can lead to wrongful termination:

  • Retaliation: If an employee speaks up against workplace discrimination or files a complaint with human resources or relevant authorities, they may face retaliation from their employer, including termination. Retaliation for exercising one’s rights against discrimination is illegal and constitutes wrongful termination.
  • Constructive discharge: This occurs when an employee resigns because the employer has made the working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would feel compelled to resign. In essence, it’s as if the employer forces the employee to quit, and this can be considered a form of wrongful termination.
  • Disparate treatment: If an employee is subjected to different treatment based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability or national origin, and this treatment results in termination, it could be considered wrongful termination. For example, if a qualified employee is fired solely because of their race while others in similar positions are not, it constitutes disparate treatment and is a form of discrimination that can lead to wrongful termination.

Employees who have been subjected to wrongful termination can seek recourse through various legal avenues. If you are facing such circumstances, it is important to seek legal guidance to better understand your rights and options if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated due to workplace discrimination.