If you have reason to believe you were the victim of wrongful termination there's nothing wrong with learning more about your situation. Even if you come to find that your employer had the right to terminate your employment, it's better to learn more than to sit back and always wonder what could have been.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in regard to your termination.
- At-will employment. In most cases, your employer has the right to terminate your employment for any reason or none at all. However, there are times when a termination violates the law, such as when it relates to some form of discrimination or retaliation.
- Anti-discrimination laws. There are both federal and state laws in place to protect employees against discrimination. For example, your employer cannot terminate you because of your race, age or sex.
- Your employment contract. Did you sign an employment contract when starting your job? If so, your employer is obligated to live up to the terms and conditions. If you are terminated for any reason, you should review your contract to see if your employer had the right to do so.
- Retaliation. Your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you, such as for reporting illegal acts to a government agency. If you speak out against your employer, keep a close eye out for acts of retaliation. Even though it's against the law, it often comes into play.
- Protected time off. This is typically related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your employer cannot retaliate against you for taking time off as governed by the FMLA.
Even if you have a good relationship with your supervisor and employer as a whole, you never know what could happen down the road. It's always possible you could be the victim of wrongful termination.
If you find yourself in this position, you'll want to learn more about the points detailed above. Also, continue to collect information and take notes regarding your termination, as this could come in handy in the future if you need to take action against your employer.