State and federal employment laws are intended to protect both employers and employees in different situations. They ensure that people's rights are not violated in the workplace or as a result of unlawful practices. But the fact is that many people do not fully understand their rights.
For example, did you know that there are some unlawful reasons for employers to fire someone? Most firings will not end in a dispute; in Florida, employers have the right to terminate employees for any number of reasons without having to justify their decision to anyone outside of their company. However, there are cases when a person's firing is deemed to be a violation of state or federal law. So how do you know if you have been the victim of a wrongful termination?
The United States Department of Labor defines termination guidelines. It specifies that there are a number of factors that could make a termination unlawful. According to the DOL, workers cannot be fired for illegal reasons, which include:
- Discrimination (including age, race, sex, disability, religion and national origin)
- Whistleblower status
- Violations of DOL-enforced laws
It can be very difficult for a worker to objectively assess his or her own situation and determine if a termination was in fact wrongful. Additionally, believing that a violation occurred and being able to prove that it did are two different things. This is why it can be so helpful to consult an attorney.
Getting fired can be devastating; this is undeniable. Without a steady paycheck, a person can struggle enormously to pay bills and care for themselves and their families. If you believe your firing falls under the categories mentioned above, you could have a legitimate claim for compensation. Speaking with an attorney can be an effective way of exploring your options and better understanding your rights.