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A strange firing doesn’t automatically mean it’s a wrongful one

Many people assume that, when they’re fired, the reasons should seem pretty fair and pretty straightforward. For instance, if they made a mistake and cost the company $100,000, they understand why they’re being fired. If the firing seems strange or unfair, they think it’s automatically a wrongful termination.

This is not technically true. There are many strange reasons why you can legally be fired, even if it does not seem fair to you.

For instance, one man talked about wanting strict gun control laws at work, and then he was fired by his boss, a gun collector. Now, he wasn’t told that it was because of his opinion, but he felt it was, and he also thought that was a violation of the First Amendment.

It’s not, though, because the First Amendment just means that you aren’t going to jail for having an opinion. In New Jersey, you’re allowed to say whatever you want, but your employer can still take action if he or she doesn’t like what you have to say. The First Amendment has nothing to do with employment.

Unlawful termination cases stem from other sorts of issues, such as discrimination. You can’t be fired based on your gender or your skin color, for example. You also can’t be fired if you make allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace—like sexual harassment—and your boss is terminating you just to get even with you.

If you’ve been fired and you don’t think it was fair, make sure you take a moment to see if it really falls under the guidelines for a wrongful termination.

Source: Fortune, “Wrongful termination: What it is – and isn’t,” Anne Fisher, accessed Nov. 13, 2015

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