The best place to find definitive legal answers to employment law questions will always be on the U.S Department of Labor website. However, the site does not define wrongful termination explicitly. Wrongful termination is a legal term that can cover an array of unlawful acts by an employer. In the simplest of words, it is firing someone for an illegal reason. Criminal reasons can range from age discrimination to pregnancy discrimination and everything in between.
This infographic discusses ten types of discrimination, but keep in mind there are many more. Age, disability, sexual orientation, status as a parent, religion, nation of origin, pregnancy, race, color, and sex are all protected classes. This means that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against them. When these types of discrimination lead to the employee being fired, it is called wrongful termination—other terms for this include ageism, sexism, racism. Discrimination can be direct or indirect and can take the form of harassment and victimization.
It is also illegal to discriminate against someone who has filed a complaint against their employer. Those who have filed a report or participated in an investigation should still be treated equally to other employees. When an employer fires someone who has experienced employment law or additional analysis, this is wrongful termination. These laws are in place to encourage people to hold their employers accountable without the risk of facing discrimination or losing their job. Another word for this is retaliation. Retaliation can take the form of demotions, cuts in hours, lowered pay, and job termination.
Suppose you have suffered one of the ten common types of discrimination listed above, another form of discrimination, or been retaliated against by an employer. In that case, you have the right to be heard. There are many legal protections in place for employees who file these kinds of suits.
Disclaimer: This article does not substitute for legal aid or give legal advice. If you or someone you know requires legal assistance, please reach out to a qualified attorney. California Employee Advocates is not a law firm.
Let Us Help
If you suspect you have been discriminated against at your workplace for any of the reasons listed above, it is in your rights to press charges against your employer. You may be owed significant compensation for your suffering. Scheduling a call with us can give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with a strong case.