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You are Here: Home > Articles > Wrongful Termination

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination might not mean what you think it does in the legal sense. That's because, what we as considerate human beings think is unfair or unethical treatment in the workplace, is not necessarily illegal for U.S. employers.

As a rather expensive California employment lawyer once indicated to this writer, employment laws give employers much more legal leeway than you might imagine.

But, perhaps it's more accurate to say that the absence and antiquation of employment laws is what really grants employers their leeway.

In turn, just because an employer unfairly fired or forced an employee to quit, doesn't necessarily mean that the employee suffered wrongful termination; at least not according to law.

What is Wrongful Termination?

However unfair an employment termination may have seemed, for it to have constituted the illegal act of wrongful termination, the employer must have violated a state or Federal law, public policy or a constitutional provision. Unfortunately, there's no such thing that generally protects employees from "crummy deals" per se.

To further understand what legally constitutes wrongful termination, it's important to also note that virtually all states consider employment to be "at will" in legal jargon, under the Employment at Will Doctrine.

At-will employment means that, in the absence of employment contracts stating otherwise, employment is presumed to be voluntary and indefinite for both employees and employers.

In plain English it means that, as an at-will employee, you may quit your job whenever you want and for any reason, usually without consequence. But, on the flip side, it also means that at-will employers may discharge you whenever they want and for any reason, usually without consequence.

However, in some states, employers must at least have "good cause" for discharging employees, meaning that the employers must have justifiable legal or business reasons. But good cause or not is a matter of interpretation by the courts or arbitrators.

For more information, including general examples of wrongful termination under relevant laws and public policy, read Wrongful Termination at EmployeeIssues.com. To get straight to the point for your particular situation, consult an employment lawyer.Free Lawyer Referral Service

"Wrongful Termination" provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice nor as a substitute for legal advice. It is presented as is, with no warranty either expressed or implied. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. See an employment lawyer for legal advice. Should you act based on this information, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this information. Read our Disclaimer for more information.Employment Lawyer

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