Wrongful Termination Myths and Misconceptions: Employer Tricks
Has your employer fired you from your job? It can be a disturbing experience, especially when you are sure you haven’t done anything wrong and have a family to support. However, you don’t need to take things lying down. You can discuss your situation with a lawyer for wrongful termination and find out if you might have a case against your employer.
There are many myths and misconceptions floating around regarding wrongful termination. And some employers may use these to take advantage of their employees and trick them out of their legal right to work. When you consult a lawyer for wrongful termination, they will explain what is factual and what isn’t and improve your understanding of state employment law.
Here are some wrongful termination myths and misconceptions you need to be aware of:
Myth 1: You cannot sue your employer for wrongful termination if you leave the job
That is not true. You can sue your employer for wrongful termination, even if you no longer work for them. It may have become untenable for you to continue working for them due to the hostile environment, but that doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your rights. You can hire a reputable lawyer for wrongful termination, sue your employer, and get appropriate compensation.
Myth 2: You cannot sue your employer for wrongful termination if you are an independent contractor
Independent contractors also have employment rights. So, if you have grounds to claim that your employer fired you from your job for malicious reasons, you may be able to sue them for wrongful termination.
Myth 3: You cannot sue your employer for wrongful termination if you are an at-will employee
Under California law, employment is on an at-will basis. It means that, unless you and your employer have a contract stating otherwise, they are hiring you on an ‘at-will’ basis. That gives them the legal right to terminate your job at any time for any reason. For instance, if they dislike the way you dress or you smell, they can ask you to leave. It can be an absolutely frivolous reason, and it will still be perfectly legal. You cannot sue them for wrongful termination.
However, you will have a case against them if you can prove that they dismissed you because of your age, gender, race, religion, marital status, disability, or other reasons that the federal and state laws deem as discriminatory.
Although by the at-will doctrine, employers can technically fire you for any reason, it is not quite so simple, practically speaking. Over the years, various legal challenges have made the courts put in extensive exclusions, and now employers usually have to provide a credible reason for dismissing an employee. Here are some commonly given excuses:
We are laying you off due to the economic downturn.
While there may be some truth to it, many employers may also use this excuse to get rid of individuals or groups of people that they consider to be troublemakers.
We are letting you go because you have violated the company policy
If the employer is determined to dismiss you from your position, they may chalk up a list of minimal violations that they never previously enforced. These can include being late a few times, failing to attend a meeting, or leaving early on occasion.
We are firing you because your work is not on par with our required standards
The employer may create a list of work-related shortcomings that you were not aware of and which they never brought to your attention before. They may even create a work environment designed to induce errors. They will then use these as legitimate proof of your incompetency and declare that your work is not up to their standards. And that is why they are well within their rights to fire you.
Even if you comprehend employment law, it can be an uphill struggle to go against these types of employers. It might be best to look for a more congenial job, but that isn’t always possible, and being fired can affect your chances of finding new employment. That is why you should hire a lawyer for wrongful termination and get just compensation.