Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Wrongful termination refers to when an employee is fired for a reason that is not legally permissible.
Although most employment is “at will,” which means that it can be terminated at any time by either the employee or employer, there are a number of important exceptions to this. The main reasons that support a wrongful-termination claim are age (over 40), nationality, race, sex, religion, jury duty, disability, refusing to do something illegal, or other reasons that may violate public policy. If any of these reasons are the basis for the firing, there may be a claim for wrongful termination.
At the time of the termination, it is a good idea for the employee to ask what the reason for the termination is. If the employer gives shifting reasons, this may be an indication of a potential wrongful-termination claim.
It is also a good idea for employees to obtain a copy of the employee’s personnel file, as documentation in it may support a claim for wrongful termination. Any employee can request their personnel file under Mass. General Laws chapter 149, section 52C.
Sometimes, employers will use a made-up reason for firing an employee when the real motivation is one of the reasons listed above. If this is the case, further investigation may be needed to see how other similar employees were treated.
At the time an employee is fired, an employer must provide them with all wages that were due at that time. Failure to do so subjects the employer to a possible claim under the Massachusetts Wage Act. Furthermore, when an employee is fired, the employer must also provide a brochure informing the employee about how to apply for unemployment benefits.
If you were fired and you suspect that the termination may be been illegal, contact our office for a no-cost case evaluation about your rights.