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Legal recourse against wrongful termination

Some New Jersey residents may have reason to believe they were wrongfully discharged from their job. When this happens, it may be beneficial to know if the discharge was done within the confines of the law and the employer's termination policy. If not, the employee may have the option of pursuing a wrongful termination suit.

Wrongful termination may occur in any industry, and an employer may offer reasons that are invalid under state and federal laws. If an employee challenges his or her termination and wins, damages may be won. Each situation is different, but damages may include reinstatement, promotion, back pay, certain accommodations, compensatory or punitive damages, and attorney fees.

The reasons an employee might file a lawsuit vary. An employer may not discriminate against an employee who takes time from work for such things as military service or who refuses to work under conditions that violate safety codes. In addition, if the employee reports unsafe conditions to a government agency, the employer may not retaliate by terminating the employee. Federal, state and local laws prohibit discrimination due to race, creed, sex, religion, nationality, pregnancy, disability or age. Despite rules in some states that allow an employer to terminate an employee at-will, doing so due to discrimination is forbidden.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against an employer for discrimination or other issues, many federal laws require that a complaint be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The same holds true under state laws, and a complaint must be filed with the appropriate state office. Consulting an attorney concerning available options an employee may have when job termination occurs may be beneficial. The attorney may review the circumstances surrounding the discharge and help the individual file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Source: Findlaw, "Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job?", December 22, 2014

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