How can an at-will employee be wrongfully terminated?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2020 | Firm News |

People in Kentucky have many different types of jobs. Some could work full-time or part-time. People may work in construction, retail, at various corporate positions, car repair, sales, electricians, plumbers, restaurant industry and many other types of jobs. While there are many people who own businesses, the majority of people are employees for someone else. Most employees are at-will employees as well.

Being an at-will employee means that people do not have a contract for a specific period of time and could be fired at any time for almost any reason. Even if people are fired for what may seem like an unfair reason, that does not automatically mean that people have been wrongfully terminated. At-will employees can be wrongfully terminated in certain situations though.

Employers cannot fire employees for discriminatory reasons. This means that people cannot be fired because of their age, race, religion, national origin, gender, disability and other protected classes. At-will employees also cannot be fired as retaliation. This could be because the employee filed a workers’ compensation claim, refused to participate in illegal activity, reported illegal activity, participated in an investigation and other types of retaliation. There could also be an implied contract formed in certain situations when certain promises are made regarding job security or procedures for terminating an employee are established within the company.

There are many people in Kentucky who lose their jobs every year. There are also many reasons that people lose their jobs and even if it is unfair, it is not necessarily illegal. However, if people are terminated for the reasons stated above, they may have a wrongful termination claim. If successful they could receive back pay for the income they lost as well as other damages. These can be complicated cases though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial.