Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is discharged from employment for unlawful reasons or company policy is violated when the employee is fired. Ohio is an “at-will” employment state, which means that most employers have the right to terminate an employee at any time for any reason. The only employees who are exempt are those who belong to a union with a collective bargaining agreement, those who have employment contracts, and those who work in certain government positions. However, even “at-will” employees have rights against wrongful termination and cannot be fired for reasons that violate the law or public policy. Employers are subject to federal and state antidiscrimination laws that prohibit the firing of employees based on protected categories.  


What Makes a Termination Wrongful?

There are many reasons why a termination could be considered wrongful. For example, employers are not allowed to terminate employees based on race, sex, age, or religion. Employers are also forbidden from terminating employees for taking medical leave, filing a workers’ compensation claim, or filing an OSHA complaint. The breach of an employment contract or of protection given under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is also considered wrongful termination. Other forms of wrongful termination include the following: 

    • Being fired after filing a sexual harassment complaint
    • Being fired while on pregnancy or medical leave
    • Being fired because of a disability
    • Being fired after complaining about an unfair workplace practice 

Constructive wrongful termination is another form of wrongful termination. Constructive wrongful termination occurs when an employer’s conduct or indifference to job conditions would cause any reasonable person to resign so as not to remain in a hostile work environment. In order to successfully pursue a constructive wrongful termination claim, employees must prove that they have used every avenue to try and resolve workplace issues before quitting. 


Pursuing Legal Action Against Your Employer

Various legal options exist for employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs. If you believe that your termination was wrongful, it would be wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether your employer has violated any laws. It’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible since some wrongful termination laws have a statute of limitations as short as three months. You may be able to take your employer to court and seek damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and other factors, depending on the circumstances of your case. 

Wrongful termination cases often come down to the employer’s word against the employee’s word, so it can be difficult to prove your case. The Ohio wrongful termination attorneys at Jones Law Group will thoroughly evaluate the details of your situation. If we determine that you have a legitimate claim, we will put our investigative resources to work for you by interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. We strive to assist you in taking action for the justice you’re entitled to under law and in seeking compensation from your employer. Call (614) 545-9998 or contact us online  to schedule a free initial consultation.


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