During the 23-plus years I have practiced employment law, I have talked to thousands of employees who have been fired from a job.  For most of us, we work hard to support our family and pay our bills.  But, very few employees have job security.  People get fired from jobs every day and the reasons fall into 3 general categories: (1) deserved, (2) unfair, and (3) unlawful. When North Carolina employees call my law firm for a free case evaluation, one goal is to help employees understand how the court system and the law define what is a “wrongful termination.”   

Getting fired from a job can be a horrible experience.  Studies show that losing a job falls in the same category as death of a loved one or divorce from a spouse.  Not surprisingly, you might feel confused, shocked, scared or angry when a job is taken away from you. Many people wonder, can I sue my employer for wrongful termination?

What is wrongful termination?

No matter how unfair a termination decision may be, there is a good chance that it does not qualify as “wrongful termination.”  In interpreting federal and state employment laws, the courts have made it clear that they will not play the role of a human resource department and second guess whether an employer made a mistake or was unfair in deciding to terminate an employee.  Wrongful termination is when an employer fires an employee for a reason that violates the law.

What are examples of wrongful termination?

Under North Carolina and federal law, employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against employees for illegal reasons.  Usually, illegal reasons include termination decisions that involve the employee’s race, sex, disability, pregnancy, age, national origin, or religion.  Employees who utilize the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are victims of wrongful termination.  Similarly, employees who complain about sexual harassment or discrimination face workplace retaliation in the form of wrongful termination.

Do I have a case for wrongful termination?

If you believe you have a wrongful termination case, contact Gibbons Leis, PLLC. At Gibbons Leis, PLLC, our employment lawyers are experienced and understand what it take to stand up to employers in wrongful termination cases. Call us today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

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