Wrongful termination is a serious issue that many employees face in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding the topic that can make it difficult for individuals to understand their rights.
In this post, we'll debunk some of the most common myths about wrongful termination and provide you with tangible tips to help you navigate this difficult situation.
Myth #1: Employers Can Fire People for Any Reason
One of the most pervasive myths about wrongful termination is that employers can fire employees for any reason. This is simply not true.
Employers cannot terminate employees based on race, gender, age, religion, or disability. They also can't fire them for engaging in legally protected activities, such as participating in a union or discussing wages.
If you believe that you were terminated for one of these reasons, you may have a case for wrongful termination.
Myth #2: Employees Must Have a Contract to Avoid Wrongful Termination
While having a contract can provide additional protection, it's not necessary.
Even without a contract, employees have legal protections against termination for a reason that violates their civil rights.
Myth #3: Employees Can't Be fFred for Whistleblowing
While there are federal and state laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation, these laws have limitations. For example, if the whistleblower’s disclosure was not made in good faith, they may not be protected.
Myth #4: Employees Are Protected from Termination During a Probationary Period
Employers can terminate anyone who is employed at will as long as the real reason for the firing wasn't based in illegal discrimination or retaliation.
Myth #5: Employers Can't Fire Employees for Their Off-Duty Conduct
Many people might believe that being fired for something they did outside of work may be wrongful, but this isn't always the case.
Employers can fire any at-will employee for conduct beyond the workplace as long as the termination isn't truly motivated by discrimination or retaliation for a protected workplace activity.
Employers can terminate employees for off-duty conduct if it impacts their job performance or the company’s reputation. For example, if an employee’s social media posts are offensive or discriminatory, an employer may have grounds for termination—but they may not have grounds for termination if the posts are about discrimination the employee experiences at work or in a broader context.
Myth #6: There’s No Way to Fight Against Wrongful Termination
Lastly, many people don’t believe it’s possible to fight against being fired for an illegal reason—this simply isn’t the case! Many others have brought wrongful termination claims forward and won agreeable settlements or even trials. With the right employment law attorney at your side, success is possible.
If you wish to learn more about how K2 Employment Law can help with your claim, contact us today.