A “wrongful termination” is an unfair and illegal employment discharge. Arizona is an employment-at-will state, meaning employers can terminate employment at any time with or without cause. However, there are certain situations when termination constitutes a wrongful termination claim. If an employee is terminated based on retaliation, breach of contract, or discrimination, among other things, a wrongful termination claim may be brought against the previous employer.
The following are examples of specific instances that qualify a termination as wrongful:
- Breach of Explicit or Implied Contract: An employer cannot, without good cause, prematurely terminate a contract, as long as the employee is abiding by the terms of the contract. It is important to have a skilled professional review the contract to determine the eligibility of your claim.
- Retaliation: The law protects employees from being retaliated against by their employers. This includes retaliation based on whistle-blowing. Whistle-blowing occurs when an employee reports unethical or illegal conduct which results in the termination of their employment by their employer. Retaliation can also occur when an employee refuses to perform acts that are illegal or against public policy
- Discrimination: There are a variety of characteristics protected by law from discrimination. For instance, in the workplace it is illegal to discriminate based on age, sex, nationality, veteran status, disability, race, or religion. If the discrimination results in the termination of an employee, the employee may be able to file a wrongful termination claim.
- Constructive Discharge: Even if you were not actually fired, but quit due to discrimination, harassment or a hostile work environment there still may be cause for a wrongful termination claim.
Do I have a case?
In order to determine the eligibility of your claim it is necessary to discuss the facts and circumstances of your firing or forced resignation with an experienced employment attorney. Employment issues are complex and require a thorough analysis to determine potential claims and defenses. If you have been terminated on the basis of discrimination, retaliation, for breach of contract or any other protected classifications, you may have a wrongful termination claim. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated please contact my office to schedule a consultation.
If you are facing a decision concerning this issue, please contact our office for a consultation.