Wrongful Termination in Employment, and the Massachusetts Exceptions to Employment “At Will”
Massachusetts, like many other states, follows the rule that unless otherwise stated employment is “at will.” This means that an employee can quit, or be fired, at any time, for any reason. Generally, this keeps employees free to move without restrictions, and allows employers to hire the most qualified candidates.
But there are numerous exceptions to this rule. For reasons that have developed because of laws that were passed or because of judges’ decisions, there are certain reasons for which an employee cannot be terminated.
Some of the major reasons that constitute wrongful termination are listed below.
- Age, nationality, race, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation.
- Being a veteran
- Asserting a legally guaranteed right
- Assisting others in opposing discrimination
- Receiving mental health treatment
- Possessing under an ounce of marijuana
- Being a whistleblower
- Reporting illegal conduct
- Reporting patient abuse
- Serving on a jury, or serving as a witness
- Seeking an accommodation based on disability or religion
- Taking a 30-minute lunch break
- Requesting payment of wages
- Refusing to take a polygraph
- Refusing to work on a religious holiday
- Having a contract for employment
There may be other reasons, as well, if you are a local, state, or federal employee, as well as if you are a member of a union.
If you feel you have been terminated wrongfully for any of these reasons, our office may be able to help you, and can provide you with a no-cost consultation to advise you on your rights.
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Culik Law is a Massachusetts Attorney / Law Firm. The posts on Culik Law’s blog are not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, CONTACT CULIK LAW for a Free Consultation.