What Is Wrongful Termination?

Losing a job can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated. Wrongful termination happens when an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason, such as discrimination or retaliation. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have the legal right to sue your employer.

In New Jersey, many workers are hired on an at-will basis, meaning employers have the right to terminate a worker’s employment for almost any reason, at any time. The employee also has the right to leave a job at any time without any reason. However, an employer does not have the right to terminate someone’s employment for an illegal reason. These unlawful reasons include but are not limited to:

  • Discrimination: The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects employees from discrimination based on their sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, and other protected classes. If an employer fires a worker because they fall within one of the protected classes, then that employer can be liable for wrongful termination. An example of discriminatory termination would be an employer terminating a worker’s employment based on their sexual orientation.
  • Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when a worker makes a reasonable complaint of unlawful conduct or activity and is subsequently fired because of the complaint. Many laws in New Jersey protect against retaliation, including the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and the NJLAD. An example of retaliation is firing an employee because they made a discrimination complaint.
  • Harassment: Employers are obligated to provide a safe work environment that is free of harassment. If an employer fails to protect their workers from harassment, then a wrongfully terminated worker may be able to sue.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?

If you have been wrongfully terminated, there are steps you can take to hold your employer accountable:

  • Save everything. Save as much communication as possible, including texts, emails, paperwork, conversations, and anything else that can support your view of what happened. Save the termination letter if you have one, and be sure to get the reason for termination in writing if the employer is willing to divulge that information. Try to get eyewitness accounts of the wrongful termination, such as a coworker’s account of you suffering discrimination or retaliation. The outcome of your wrongful termination case may depend on your employer’s ability to defend their reason for termination.
  • Document what you can. Document all the events and facts leading up to your termination and do so as soon as possible. Document conversations, specific dates of when they happened, the names of people involved, and any quotes that are viable to the situation.
  • File your complaint. You can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which oversees discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.
  • Contact an employment lawyer. Wrongful termination cases can be complicated. You need the help of an employment lawyer who can provide legal guidance.

South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Workers Who Have Been Wrongfully Terminated

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, contact one of our South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call us at 856-235-7075 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients across South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.