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Wrongful Termination – A Violation of Public Policy

08th July 2010
By Mesriani Law Group in Employment Law
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Workers are protected against wrongful termination which is clearly a case of public policy violation. Public policy, be it under state or federal provisions, guards workers' rights especially those who are not represented by any unions or labor groups. Mostly, these workers are the at-will employees.

At-Will Employment

In at-will employment, there may or may not be contracts that prove the agreement of two parties wherein one would be compensated for the services that he will render.

This type of employment is governed by laws of agreement which gives the employer the power to terminate an employee on any ground for no apparent reason. However, these reasons must not be the result of any discriminatory or retaliatory acts.

Public Policy

Commonly, only at-will employees have the right to file wrongful termination due to public policy violations. This is because they are not represented by any unions which might have certain agreements with employers regarding employment policies.

Thus, a member of a labor group or union would not need as much protection as an at-will employee would. Here are some reasons behind retaliatory actions protected by public policy:

• Whistle-blowing. A worker who has exposed illegal transactions and activities committed by his company or employer is protected by whistleblower laws, and thus, cannot be retaliated against.

• Refusing to engage in illegal conduct. An employee has the right to disobey orders from his superiors which would include engaging in any unlawful act like falsification of documents, perjury, and others.

• Performance of Duties. Jury duties and other civil duties which may result to absences cannot be the grounds for a worker's termination as the law requires a person to do these duties.

• Exercising of Rights and Privileges. A worker can exercise his employment rights including his right to get justified compensation without being retaliated against.

Public policy violations are committed by employers if they demote or terminate a worker in connection with any of the above issues since it is considered immoral and ethically unacceptable.

Wrongful Termination

A person can file claims against his employer if he feels that the reason for his termination is protected by the public policy or any other employment law.

These claims include the payment of monetary compensation for the damages that a worker has sustained because of the wrongful termination. It would also replace lost salary and benefits, and for some, even the reinstatement to his previous job.

To prove a wrongful termination, you must gather pieces of evidence such as documents which clearly show that you are treated poorly in your workplace and that your termination is the result of such treatment.

Many cases of wrongful termination in at-will employment are dismissed due to lack of evidence presented by the plaintiff. For your case to be well-represented, you must hire expert employment lawyers who will handle your case efficiently.

Not many employment cases handle lawsuits regarding public policy violation and so you must make sure that the lawyer who will be working on your case has a great knowledge and experiences regarding this matter.

Our employment attorneys are experienced in handling public policy violation cases such as wrongful termination. For consultation, visit our website and dial our toll free number.
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