Can I Always Be Fired In An At-Will Employment State?


Some states have at-will employment. Within these states, it's possible for an employer to terminate employment for any reason. An employee can also quit a job for any reason. However, just because you are in a state with at-will employment, that doesn't mean that your termination was necessarily legal.

You Can Exercise Your Rights

Throughout the United States, you cannot be fired if you were observing jury duty or if you are exercising a right that is legally protected, such as your right to vote. 

You Can't Be Forced to Commit a Crime

If you are ordered to perform an illegal action, you refuse and you are then fired, this is a form of wrongful termination. For this reason, you should work with a wrongful termination attorney who can gather evidence of the illegality of the actions performed.

Contracts Apply Even in At-Will States

A contract can override at-will employment laws. For example, if an employer is under contract to provide employment with specific stipulations, he or she cannot fire you unless you are in violation of the contract. Also, you may not be allowed to quit your job. Sometimes, a contract might be as simple as an employee being given three strikes before facing termination. If you have not received all three strikes, this might be used as a violation of your contract.

Civil Rights Protections Still Apply

Another common reason for wrongful termination is when an employee is terminated as a violation of the 1964 Civil Right's Act. If there is evidence that an employee was fired because of his or her race, gender, national origin or skin color, this may lead to a situation where you can successfully win a wrongful termination case.

Employers will sometimes cite lawful reasons for terminating employment, such as poor work performance. However, if there is reason to believe that the cited reasons were not the actual reasons, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit successfully.

You Can't Be Fired for an Absurd Reason

Also, if you are fired for an absurd reason, such as for taking your employer's favorite parking spot, this can be used as a reason to pursue a wrongful termination case even in a state that has at-will employment laws. Because there can be a fine line between what is considered absurd and what is considered legitimate, make sure to consult with a wrongful termination attorney to find out if you have a case even in an at-will state.


3 September 2018

do you really need an attorney?

There are so many legal situations that you can find yourself involved with, but do those situations really require that you hire an attorney? Some instances you may not need an attorney working with you, but in other situations, an attorney is definitely a necessity. This blog contains tips and advice for working through the different elements of the legal system. You will find information that can help you determine if/when you need to hire an attorney to represent your best interests. Knowing this information can help you avoid the costly mistake of taking on the legal system without someone who knows how the system works.