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Did you know that wrongful termination lawsuits, over the past 20 years, have risen by 260 percent? If the lawsuit does go to trial, the plaintiff- which is the employee- wins about 65% of the time. Have you been fired recently, and are you wondering whether you have grounds to sue? Here are three important facts you should know about wrongful termination before you pick up the phone and call employment rights attorneys.
1. What are Unfair Dismissal Claims?
It’s a common misconception that labor laws cover anything that feels “unfair,” and that employees can only be fired for poor performance. For the most part, wrongful dismissal law only says that your employer cannot fire you because of your age, race, religion, as retaliation for a discrimination claim, because you’ve spoken up about sexual harassment, or without due notice as per your contract of employment.
2. What are My Rights as a Pregnant Employee?
When a business has 15 employees or more, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act says that they must treat pregnant employees the same as other employees and job applicants. For companies with 50+ employees, you are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which says employees (who have been with the company at least a year) are allowed to take at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave. It’s also not legal for an employer to demote you or dock your pay because of your pregnancy.
3. Can I be Fired for My Political Views?
In the U.S., political debate is such an aspect of our culture that it’s hard to believe it isn’t accepted everywhere. Many people wonder whether their employer is violating their First Amendment rights after being fired for stating an opinion; in reality, you have no First Amendment rights when working on company time, with few exceptions (four states protect it, and government employees). Employers in the U.S. have a right to fire disruptive employees. Why? According to wrongful termination lawyers, there are several reasons. One important one: it can create larger problems for the company. If someone in the company loudly shares their views on one politician’s commentary about rape, for example, this can open up the employer to legal ramifications in the form of a hostile work environment sex discrimination suit.
Have you ever filed or dealt with an unfair dismissal claim? Find out more about this topic here.