Wrongful termination is an illegal act that can impact your future. New Jersey is an “at-will” state. Employees can be fired for any reason at any time, with exceptions. If you have been fired from a position, you may have the thought that the practice was illegal. There are many instances where an employee has a claim of wrongful termination. In our state, laws have been implemented to protect workers from illegal discharge. You may not be fired from a position:
If you believe that your rights have been violated, you need to act in order to hold your employer accountable for their illegal actions. The Mark Law Firm, LLC has over 15 years of experience with employment law. Our firm is ready to review your case and assess future actions.
Laws on the state and federal level have been drafted and implemented to defend people of “protected classes” against termination based on discrimination. According to both laws, a person may not be fired based on numerous protected classes, including race, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, and pregnancy. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) allows for people to file complaints with the Division of Civil Rights. The U.S. Equal Employment Occupational Commission allows for victims of discrimination to follow guidelines set forth to bring an employer to federal court.
When employees work for a business in an “at-will” state, an employment contract and employee handbook are great ways to protect yourself from the terms of “at-will” employment. Contracts can be written, implied, or oral. Written employment contracts are just as they seem. They are written and signed by both parties. They establish how a job will function and reasons for termination. An implied employment contract, like an employee handbook, assumes that you, as an employee of a company, will enjoy the same application of the contract as anyone else it covers. The third kind is an oral employment contract. This is an agreement between people that was never written. An oral contract is the weakest form of agreement and most attorney will advise against it. If your employer has breached your contract, you have the right to act and could be awarded a variety of legal remedies.
There are state and federal laws that protect certain people from being fired for taking time off of work for certain situations. For example, military personnel have the right to take up to 5 years of leave when serving our country. During that time, their position must be protected and they may not be fired for their leave. Another example of a protected leave from a job is when someone serves on jury duty. Employers may not act against anyone who has been picked to serve on jury duty and they are protected under the law. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects families who work for businesses over 50 employees against harassment or termination because they took the time they are entitled to in order to spend time with their new family. New Jersey is one of the few states that provide family leave. Employers are obligated to pay two-thirds of their wage during that time. If you have been fired because you took leave for any of these reasons, you may have a case of wrongful termination.
It is illegal for an employer to fire any employee who exercises their rights in a variety of situations. If you have acted on a wage or hour law dispute, your employer may not fire you. If you have been discriminated against and you believe you have been terminated based on a protected class, you may have a case of wrongful termination. If you have exercised your rights as a whistleblower or filed a workers’ compensation claim and have been terminated in response, that is illegal.
In certain situations, a company is required by law to provide notice of termination. If a company has over 100 employees and they will be terminating a multitude of positions, they may have to offer a 90-day notice of the layoff. Failure to follow the Works Adjustment and Retraining Act can lead to a claim of wrongful termination.
The Mark Law Firm, LLC works with victims of wrongful termination in order to recover the lost job or litigate the matter for punitive damages. You have rights and when they are violated by an employer who just wants to save a dollar, you may have the law on your side. Wrongful termination can be difficult to prove in some instances and having an attorney who can meet the legal standard is recommended. If you need our legal services, The Mark Law Firm, LLC is ready to represent your interests.