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When Can You Sue For Wrongful Termination?


In a world of predominantly ‘at-will’ employment, is it ever possible to sue for wrongful termination? Keep in mind that “at-will” refers to the reality that, in most instances, an employee can be fired at any time, for any reason, or even for no reason at all. Still, there are notable important exceptions that absolutely allow you to sue for wrongful termination.

Written Contract

A legally executed contract that promises employment for a predetermined period of time or allows dismissal only for certain specified reasons may be enough to move you out of at-will status and provide the legal foundation necessary to sue for wrongful termination. Keep in mind that a valid contract can take a variety of forms, including a signed letter or any other document that makes a promise that could be found legal in court.

Implied Promise

Though more difficult to prove, the legal concept of an implied promise could be enough to convince a judge or jury that your employer broke a verbal commitment regarding your employment. To further complicate matters, it doesn’t even have to be a flat-out promise. Courts have been amenable to evaluating factors like regular promotions, positive performance reviews, and whether long-term promises of work were indicated during the hiring process. Granted, the preceding is more difficult to prove but an overall work history that includes any or all of these things could form the basis to sue for wrongful termination.

Discrimination, Retaliation, Fraud, and Whistleblowing

These three areas of employment law go beyond the idea of promises and implied promises to represent a category of firings that are especially egregious. Even at-will employees can’t be let go for reasons related to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, or genetic information. Retaliation, fraud, and whistleblowing are more self-explanatory but just as action-worthy when it comes to whether or not you are entitled to sue for wrongful termination. If you suspect any of these played a role in your firing, get in touch with one of our attorneys immediately. These are all serious breaches of law and the sooner an action is started, the better. You can contact us online or call (702) 259-7777 to schedule an initial consultation.