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Wrongful Termination Lawsuits on the Rise

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Washington, DC: According to a number of insurance companies, wrongful termination lawsuits are on the rise—and they are the single most frequent labor claim. Even though most employment in the US is considered "at will," wrongful employment termination claims have spiked for a number of reasons, mainly because the economy has caused an unprecedented number of lay-offs and terminations.

Wrongful Termination Lawsuits on the RiseAnother reason for a rise in wrongful termination suits is because employees increasingly understand wrongful termination law. In a situation where an employee understands wrongful employee termination and their employer doesn't, the grounds are fertile for a potential wrongful termination lawsuit.

The increase in wrongful termination claims (mainly involving discrimination and sexual harassment) can also be attributed to laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Family And Medical Leave Act of 1993. Because some areas of these laws are vague, they are open to interpretation; an experienced wrongful termination attorney familiar with the Acts is often the reason why the plaintiff wins.

Over 50 percent of all wrongful termination cases are won by the former employee (up to 70 percent in some districts) and there are more than 20 legal grounds for making a claim for wrongful termination or discharge. Clearly, "at-will" employment doesn't mean that an employee has no legal rights if they are terminated from a job.

So what are grounds to make a wrongful termination claim?

A wrongful termination attorney will basically study four areas of the law to determine whether their client has a case, including federal and state statutes, public policy, good faith and fair dealing, and implied contracts. Grounds for a wrongful termination case include anti-discrimination laws (e.g., firing a person because of race, age, sex, religion, sexual preference, positive HIV/AIDS tests, disability, height, weight, arrest record, marital status, genetic carrier status and military service).

If employers violate a public policy, they have likely planted the seed for a wrongful termination case. Some examples of violating public policy include:

- Whistle blower retaliation
- Termination for jury duty
- Refusal to break the law at the request of the employer
- Invasion of Privacy
- Defamation of Character

In 2009, Financial Executive discussed five common mistakes made by employers that could result in a wrongful termination lawsuit. In a nutshell:

1. The Employee Manual does not properly address procedures for termination.

2. The context in which managers deliver termination communication is important: ambiguous statements, such as "If it was up to me, you'd still be working here," or "It looks as though we most likely won't be able to keep you on," may cause a legal situation.

3. If charged with discrimination, your employer must prove that the termination was business-related. Managers who neglect to document policy violations and inadequate performance make it challenging to support the company's defense. Managers must support any employment actions, including performance reviews and subsequent write-ups for poor performance, and firings with complete and appropriate documentation.

4. Documents that include managers' personal remarks, hyperbole and emotionally laden rhetoric will benefit the employee in a wrongful termination case. Your employer or immediate supervisor can easily add inappropriate comments when documenting violations such as wrongful conduct, intoxication or drugs, tardiness, unsatisfactory work quality, or violation of safety rules.

5. If not prepared for and executed properly, a termination meeting can lead to litigation. An employer must respond calmly to an employee's behavior and make sure to have a witness in the room as well as the supervisor. An employee should be fired in a controlled, calm and professional manner.

If you have been in any one of these situations, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Whatever grounds you may have, a wrongful termination claim does not usually reach the point where your employer may reinstate you and/or compensate you for back-pay and warranted damages. Instead, the majority of wrongful termination claims are settled at the initial phase—when your employer is looking for a bargain. This phase is crucial to your settlement and imperative that you have a wrongful termination attorney on your side.

Wrongful Termination Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your Wrongful Termination claim at no cost or obligation.
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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Michael Miller
on
I signed a contract offer sheet that had a reasonable expectation of employment and employment length. I was terminated after less than 90 days. I was told that it had been determined that I was not a fit and that they had chosen to move in another direction. The principal reason was performance. There were only arbitrary expectations. No documentation. I am able to provide more detailed information.

Posted by
Dennise Schalk
on
I was terminated for really in my eyes no reason. I was a contractor & after 2 1/2 years the customer decides that my job performance isn't up to what he would expect so the told the company I work for that he didn't want me back. The company told me they are going to give me the option to resign or be terminated. when asked why, they said my performance wasn't good. when I mentioned that the review that was done in March 14 did not state anything about my performance being bad. Review said all was w/then expectations or outstanding. So they really all caught me off guard. Not sure if I have a case for Unlawful termination but like to see. Thanks.

Posted by
jack
on
if an employer were to require you to sign a paper allowing a government agency to conduct surveillance on you, and threaten you with termination if you refuse to sign, would that be grounds for legal action?

Posted by
Josh Rene Calderon
on
I was terminated because my employer said I didn't communicate with after a major car accident. But I did so with the best that I had. I broke my spine so couldn't even get out of bed, and in the CaR accident my phone got demolished. I would communicate with my manager thru my team leader cuz I had no care taker or means of communication in my home. I don't even have electricity, he specifically told my team leader to tell me my job is secure but when I was cleared said I didn't communicate with him. Yet he told my team leader my job was secure but when I had told my team leader to tell him I was being cleared sooner the expected he filed for my termination.

Posted by
Shellia jones
on
She was terminated for lack of correct actions with no employee handbook.

Posted by
Tyrone Gilliam
on
I was terminated for sexual harassment on facebook, derogatory comments were made toward a fe termmale coworker off the job on my facebook page not by me, but by my son who had access to my page.My employers couldn't prove it was me but only that it came from my page so they terminated me for it.

Posted by
Shirley Sharkey
on
Do You handle cases for extreem negligence on phycihatric medical release from hosipitatal in patient facility?

Posted by
ricardo ramirez
on
Fui despedido estando incapacitado por el doctor de mexico y de el centro california, le lleve la nota del doctor y ellos me dijeron que estaba despedido porque segun ellos no hable para decir que iba a faltar al trabajo.en los tres dias que tedan para que uno hable para que no lo corran del trabajo .

Posted by
becky madany
on
I was fired for something I did not do. I tried to tell my story to my boss, he would not listen. A cowoker loss her black book, that had money in it and charger card slips in it. I found it in the bathroom. So my boos thought I took it. I told him I didnt do it, he said he had me on a video tap with a black book. I told him that was my black book I have in my hand. He would not listen to me. See everyone has THE SAME black book there. HE is also telling pepole that I said I did It as a joke. what can I do.

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