What Is Wrongful Termination?
It’s a phrase we hear in the news a lot, but very few people actually know what wrongful termination is. In fact, many misuse the term. But whether you’re in Riverside or Rialto, keep in mind that this illegal practice can take place anywhere. And, in fact, you will find that legality is the most important issue when considering whether or not you have a wrongful termination case on your hands. You may not have left a company under ideal circumstances, but was the law actually broken? Were you fired due to your religion, a disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background? In the past, people have won lawsuits when they’ve been fired for any of the above reasons. However, whistleblowers are also protected under the law. Anyone who reports unsafe or otherwise illegal practices to government, city or state agencies is also protected from firing based solely on the action they’ve taken. Another example of wrongful termination is breaking an employment contract.
Wrongful Termination Statistics
Within recent years, wrongful termination claims appear to have been climbing. In 2017 alone, a stunning 84,254 charges were filed with the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Of those, approximately one-third were filed for race, and a little less than one-third were filed due to sex discrimination. National origin cases hovered just below 10%, while religion was responsible for a bit more than 4% of the claims. Color was the charge in 3.8% of the cases, while age discrimination came it at a whopping 21.8% and disability hovered at 31.9%. The Equal Pay Act was cited in 1.2%. The most shocking figure, however, may be for retaliation. In almost half of all these cases, retaliation was mentioned as part of the charge. This reminds us of just how widespread it can be for employers to strike back in illegal ways after an employee has reported inappropriate behavior or otherwise spoken out about unfair practices.