A sudden job loss can lead to serious stress and financial strain. If you are in this situation, you may be wondering if you can take steps to protect your interests. While employers have leeway when it comes to employment termination, there are limitations. An employer who illegally fires a worker can be held liable for wrongful termination. If you just lost your job and think the termination was discriminatory or retaliatory, you may have some legal options. A wrongful termination attorney can help you pursue damages and advocate for you. You should read more about what an attorney can offer before you hire one.
Laws that Cover Wrongful Termination
In New Jersey, it is not legal for employers to fire a worker for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation for exercising some rights or reporting a violation. Also, a termination is considered unlawful if it violates an employment contract.
A wrongful termination attorney can help you bring a claim under a law being violated due to the termination. For instance, the Civil Rights Act Title VII makes it unlawful for employers to terminate employment based on a worker’s sex, color, religion, national origin, or race. In addition, federal laws make it illegal to discriminate against an employee based on age, pregnancy, childbirth, or disability. Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, employers cannot fire workers because of their race, sex, nationality, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and sexual orientation.
In addition, whistleblower laws protect workers from being fired for refusing to take part in illegal behavior or reporting illegal or discriminatory activity. A worker who exercises their right to file workers’ compensation or take medical or family leave cannot be fired for it. An experienced lawyer can evaluate whether a violation of public policy may have happened in your case.
How to Prove Wrongful Termination
If you have been terminated in violation of public policy, you can pursue a claim. First, you should determine the laws that apply to your employer. A lot of anti-discrimination laws apply only to employers that have a certain number of full-time workers. If your claim has a legal basis, you should produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate you were fired because of a discrimination reason. Then, your employer must show they decided to fire you due to a legal reason. If you succeed in proving your termination was unlawful, you can be awarded damages for the economic losses you sustained, along with attorney’s fees and costs.