What is wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination arises when an employee believes the employer illegally fired him or her. This occurs when an employee is fired and that firing breaches an employment contract or employment law.Read More
How do you prove wrongful termination?
If your contract lays out grounds for termination the employer cannot fire you on other grounds. The contract itself can help prove wrongful termination by showing the grounds acceptable for termination and any policy or procedure articulated for termination.
Additionally, to show that wrongful termination occurred you must show that you engaged in a protected action and that the protected activity was the reason for the termination.Read More
What Does “At-Will” Employment Mean?
“At-will” employment means that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without reason or cause. An employer may not, however, terminate a worker’s employment for unlawful cause, such as in violation of NJLAD, in retaliation for reporting harassment or discrimination in the workplace, or for whistleblowing. If you suspect you’ve been terminated for an unlawful reason, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
Can I Be Wrongfully Fired Even if I am Employed At-Will?
Yes. There are multiple wrongful termination standards which protect employees in at-will employment relationships. This ensures that there are a multitude of scenarios in which a worker’s rights are protected, even for non-contracted work. For example, if a termination is a violation of public policy or of an implied contract it can be disputed.
Am I Entitled To A Warning Before I Am Terminated?
No, you are not entitled to a warning before you are terminated. New Jersey is an “at-will” employment state, meaning that there is no legal obligation to provide advanced notice to an employee facing termination.
Am I a Member of a Protected Class?
Is my employer required to give me a severance package?
New Jersey law does not require severance packages, but some employers offer them in the context of separation agreements; always ask a lawyer before signing a separation agreement.Read More
What Role Does My Employment Contract Play In Helping My Wrongful Termination Case?
Your employment contract could potentially help your wrongful termination case. Another exception to at-will employment is the existence of an employment contract which sets forth:
- Acceptable grounds for termination; and
- Procedures and protocols to be followed by an employer when termination of employment will be sought.
Can I Get Fired for Discussing Politics on Social Media?
Yes. New Jersey is an at-will employment state which means a private employer can terminate you for any reason or no reason at all. Therefore, if an employer concludes that your speech is causing other employees to feel uncomfortable or is harming or interfering with its business, you could be disciplined or terminated. This extends to posting on social media, wearing political clothing, pins, masks, etc. Make sure to read your employee handbook to find out what conduct violates your workplace rules.Read More
Is Getting Fired Over Email a Form of Wrongful Termation?
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.
What Is the NJ WARN Act?
The New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN) expands part of the Federal WARN Act by requiring notice even when the employment losses result from a sale of a business.
The NJ WARN Act also contains strict provisions with respect to job transfer circumstances and penalties for employers violating the Act.Read More
Was My Termination a Violation of Public Policy?
Some of the most common occurrences of wrongful termination are violations of public policy. This means that the employer’s reasoning for firing their employee violates clear, well-established and well-outlined public policies of the state. For example, it is illegal in most states for an employer to fire an employee for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. In addition, this covers most discrimination laws. If an employee is fired on the bases of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or similar reasons, that is considered wrongful termination.
If I Speak Out About Misconduct By My Employer, Can I Be Terminated?
No. Employees who voice concerns about unsafe work conditions or object to illegal business practices cannot be fired on the basis of those complaints.
Known as whistleblowers, these workers are shielded from wrongful discharge by the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). Under the CEPA, employees are protected from retaliation such as demotion or termination after speaking out about misconduct by their employer.
If I Am Successful On A Wrongful Termination Claim Brought Under NJLAD, What Am I Entitled To?
Employees who prevail on a wrongful termination claim under NJLAD are entitled to:
- Reinstatement to their previous position;
- Back pay;
- Damages for pain and humiliation;
- Reimbursement for the loss of fringe benefits; and
- Restoration of health and pension benefits.
Can I Still File a Charge with the EEOC if I Believe that I Have Been Discriminated Against Based on My Age, Race, Sex, or Disability, Even If I Signed a Waiver Releasing My Employer from all Claims?
Yes. While your severance agreement may use broad language to describe the claims you are releasing (i.e., “all claims”), you are within your rights to file a charge with the EEOC if you believe you were discriminated against while you were employed or if you believe you were wrongfully terminated.Read More