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A wrongful termination is a legal phrase, which describes a situation when an employee is terminated by the employer on baseless grounds. It entails breaching of the employment terms and conditions and the contract. The wrongful dismissal varies in accordance with the terms and contracts of the concerned party. It also depends on a particular jurisdiction. If you are not presented any contract when you join in the first place then you certainly cannot say that there has been a breach of contract. It is the de facto contract which is taken to strengthen the relationship between the management and the employee. A. Harrison Barnes of discusses various cases and situations when the dismissal can be said to be wrongful.

Under no circumstances can an employer terminate a contract on racial grounds. Caste, creed, sex, language, religion, place of birth and sex cannot be the grounds for dismissal. An employer has no right to terminate job of an employee, if the latter files any cases against the former, on the grounds of racial discrimination says A. Harrison Barnes. The employee can take recourse to law, if he finds his basic rights are being violated by the employer. Every individual has been guaranteed some basic rights by the constitution. These civil laws apply to all and all can demand equal protection under this law. The civil laws as stipulated by the courts of law do not allow “retaliation”. None of the employees can force their employer to carry out unlawful activities. The employer cannot wrongfully dismiss or terminate the employee, if he denies carrying out the illegal practices.

A termination can be said to be wrongful, if the employee is not adhering to the terms and conditions specified for dismissal, says A. Harrison Barnes. The employer has no right to fire the employee, without any valid grounds. In that case it can be said to be a wrongful dismissal. The Canadian law stipulates, that any termination can be said to be wrongful, if the “reasonable notice” criteria is not met. The “reasonable notice” depends on a number of factors, and the Ontario court in Canada is responsible for laying down all the stipulated rules and conditions. However the reasonableness has no fixed criteria. It generally varies with cases. Factors like age, experience, qualifications and training are taken into account while setting up the criteria for “reasonable notice”, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Some states, due to the absence of contracts, may consider employee agreements, policy manual of the employer, “implied-in-fact” contracts of sustained employment. These are usually in the cases when the employer does not document the terms and conditions of the employment.

Committed and hard working employees, need to be treated fairly by their employers says A. Harrison Barnes. The employer who fires his employee to avoid paying him the rewards or provide him with pay hike may result in wrongful dismissal. In some cases it might as well so happen that you are forced to resign because of the intolerable terms and conditions laid down by your employer. Such pressure tactics employed to oust the employee amounts to wrongful termination says Barnes. This situation refers to the legal conception of constructive discharge. Furthermore, it is not very easy to prove the constructive discharge in the law courts.

You can “threaten” and file a court case against illegal terminations. Such a threatening letter from your lawyer may dismiss the entire case outside the courts. But incase your employer chooses to fight back; you may have to resolve the disputes in the courts of law. If you want to stay away from the judicial system which could also be pain staking with regard to time and money involved, you can also take help from National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes. In the American legal systems, you need to have a lawyer by your side as recommended by the American Arbitration Association. To determine whether you have been wrongfully terminated, you need to seek help from the labor attorney, who specializes in this field. The employee can also file a case with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if he feels that he has been wrongfully terminated. “To preserve the ability of (the) EEOC to act on your behalf and to protect your right to file a private lawsuit, should you ultimately need to.”

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