Being fired from a job is never pleasant. Yet, whether for performance issues or financial cutbacks, most people will be let go from their job at some point in their lives. Even when you are terminated for issues beyond your control, it can be a very humbling experience.
You might be surprised to know how easily you can lose your job and how little leverage you have against your employer when it comes to being fired. With a few exceptions, you can be fired without notice, without explanation – and even without a conversation. In most cases it is perfectly legal to fire employees via email, phone call, or even text message. Employees who believe they have been a victim of a wrongful termination should consult an experienced employment law lawyer to discuss their legal options.
The Law and Termination
Some states have employment laws that stipulate how employers must terminate workers. In the many states with at-will employment laws, employers are generally within their rights to fire a worker at any time, in any manner – including letter, phone call, or e-mail, provided the firing is not discriminatory or based on a person’s protected class status.
Because these methods are bad for company morale and would discourage good employees from joining the company, most businesses have well-defined termination policies and procedures in place. Most mid-to-large sized companies have human resource (HR) specialists or departments to oversee employee hiring, evaluation, and firing. Prior to termination, HR usually notifies employees and offers them time and guidance to improve their performance.
In most organizations, performance issues, evaluations, and interactions with HR are well-documented. Termination terms are usually also recorded, discussed with the employee in question, and signed by both parties. It is important to note that none of these steps are required by law, though they are important for encouraging employee loyalty and retention.
Protecting Yourself in the Event of a Termination
There are ways to protect yourself when facing termination. A well-crafted employment contract is the simplest way to protect employees from being fired by e-mail or phone call. A personal or union employment contract should also include all the steps that must be taken before a worker is fired, allowing employees time to rectify poor performance before being fired.
Sometimes termination is unavoidable. There are a few important things to remember if you are fired. Ensure you receive all the benefits listed in your employment contract, including any severance package and unused vacation or sick pay. Discuss any final questions or concerns you have with your HR representative such as unemployment and references. Confirm that all the appropriate steps were taken before your termination, and that it was communicated to you in the ways defined by your company’s policies or employment contract.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Protect New Jersey Workers from Wrongful Termination
If your termination was without warning or did not happen according to your employment contract, you may be the victim of wrongful termination. An experienced Cherry Hill employment lawyer at the law firm of McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. will determine if your rights were violated.
Cherry Hill wrongful termination lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. understand the nuances of business and employment law and are available to guide you on the best course of action if you have been fired.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation.