If you were fired recently, it probably wasn't a pleasant experience. Could it have actually been illegal?
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine if you have a right to take action for wrongful termination?
1. Were you discriminated against?
Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, immigration status and other protected classes is a violation of public policy. If your employer made, for example, comments expressing his or her displeasure about your recent pregnancy, indicating that this made you a less-than-valuable employee, that's a strong hint that your firing was wrongful.
2. Were you replaced by someone younger or healthier?
Age discrimination is real. If you are over 40 years of age, and you felt like it was obvious that you were being forced out in favor of a younger employee, there's a strong possibility you were fired illegally.
Similarly, disability discrimination is a serious issue. Was it just a coincidence that you were fired the week after you told your boss that you'd need time off to handle your health needs due to a recent cancer diagnosis? Or, were you the subject of an illegal maneuver by management?
3. Were you retaliated against for a lawful activity?
There are some lawful rights that every employee has. Chief among them is the right to file a complaint or otherwise address issues involving poor working conditions, pay disparities, dangerous safety issues, acts of discrimination and acts of sexual harassment. If you made a complaint and found yourself packing up your desk a few weeks later, you need to consider the possibility of wrongful termination.
These aren't the only ways that you can fall victim to wrongful termination, but it does give you an idea of what you need to consider. If you're unsure about your case, talk to an experienced attorney about your situation. Someone from our office can help you determine if you have a valid claim.