Most employers don’t want to terminate employees. If you’re one of the unfortunate employees being let go, you should know that not all terminations are lawful. Paying attention to the termination and the events leading up to it might help you determine whether it was lawful or not.
One of the most important things to find out is the reason for the termination. While employers are free to fire employees for almost any reason, there are some reasons that are prohibited. For example, employees can’t be fired for participating in a protected event.
What’s considered a protected activity?
Protected activities include things like initiating or participating in an investigation about workers’ compensation violations. Whistleblowing activities are also protected. Employees must feel free to report illegal activities going on in the workplace. They can’t face any negative employment actions including termination as long as they present factual information.
If you think you’ve been fired because you participated in one of these activities, you need to take a look at what happened leading up to the termination. Certain factors, such as positive employment reviews, can work in your favor.
Even if you participated in a protected activity, you must do your job adequately. It is possible to be lawfully terminated for lack of performance as long as the termination would have occurred with any employee.
Anyone who believes they’ve been terminated for an illegal reason should learn about their legal rights. Getting this done quickly after the termination is critical because there are time limits to these matters. Having experienced legal guidance can help you to find out the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed.