Many employees have at-will contracts, meaning that the boss or employer has the freedom to dismiss them for any reason, since they are not legally required to retain them. In other words, bosses, owners, and employers, as well as employees, have complete freedom to terminate the work relationship for any reason whatsoever or for no reason in particular. However, this does not permit a boss or employer to dismiss an employee unfairly.
Clearly, it can be devastating or stressful to leave your job, and even more so if you are dismissed unfairly. As mentioned above, in these uncertain days, you worry about your future and your financial security. You think about your family, taking care of their health needs, and all of the expenses that will need to be covered while you look for another job. The idea of lodging a complaint with the authorities if the dismissal was unfair can make you nervous (especially if you are in the United States without papers) as you think about how long it might take, the cost, and any possible repercussions. Most people don’t want to face their employer, but they don’t realize that they do have rights and are protected by law, and that there are Unfair Dismissal Lawyers who are experts in getting the best compensation available in each case.
Legally, an unfair dismissal or termination is considered as such when an employee is removed from the job for a reason that is not legally admissible. Although laws about at-will contracts may vary between states, federal law prohibits this type of action across the country; there must be a fair reason for dismissal. If you want to know what rights you have in your state, consult our ‘coverage zone’ to find out what your rights are and to have an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer advise you about your case.
In an unfair dismissal case, the most important thing is for you to be able to prove that your company, boss, owner, or employer violated employment standards by dismissing you for an unfair reason. As an employee, if you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed, you may be able to present a claim against your former employer and get compensation for the violation of your rights.
When is dismissal justified?
A boss or employer may dismiss an employee when he or she believes the employee has violated the standards of the company, been grossly negligent, or engaged in illegal activity. The following is a list of possible legitimate reasons. An employee may not submit a claim and receive compensation benefits in the following cases:
- He or she is not competent to do the job required.
- He or she violates norms previously established by the company about which he or she was clearly informed (especially serious violations like harassment, breach of confidentiality, or discrimination).
- Excessive absences or tardiness.
- Acts of violence, such as fighting or threatening a co-worker.
- Use of drugs or alcohol on the job.
- Illegal activity such as theft, trafficking, or embezzlement.
- Falsifying information, especially in legal areas or accounting.
When is dismissal considered unfair?
An unfair dismissal is one which goes against public policy. The most common examples are:
- Discrimination based on race, nationality, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability.
- Reprisal for lodging a complaint against your employer before authorities.
- Violation of oral or written contracts.
- Refusal by the employee to engage in illegal, dangerous, or unsafe activities. This category includes anything that has resulted in an accident on the job. You can find more information about work-related accidents such as accidents caused by machinery, injuries on the job, injuries due to excessive noise, repetitive motion injuries, injuries due to dangerous or toxic substances,
- Absence from work because of pregnancy or for medical or personal reasons.
- Exercising rights as part of a union.
- Political affiliation.
What should I do if I am dismissed unfairly?
If you believe you have been dismissed unfairly for one of the reasons listed above, and have proof, you have the responsibility to make a claim before a court or before your authorities in the workplace. This is what you should know:
- Know the deadline for presenting your claim before the proper authorities. Your claim must be presented in a timely and correct manner. For more information, consult the United States Department of Labor or the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Read and save all paperwork relating to your employment such as your contract, work policies, procedures manual, e-mails, pay stubs or pay slips, etc. It is important to have in writing everything pertaining to the circumstances for which you were dismissed. Keep clear track of dates and names and record precise details.
- Get professional advice from an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer who can help you understand the process, your rights, and your opportunities. At Grupo MedLegal we have a team of expert Unfair Dismissal Lawyers who can help you negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
What is the compensation for unfair dismissal?
An expert lawyer can help you get the compensation stipulated by law in your state for your situation, which may include the following:
- Remuneration for the money you’ve lost because you were unfairly dismissed.
- Restoration of your job with any necessary adjustments or changes.
- Compensation for damages and medical benefits if you suffered a work-related accident.
- Payment of legal fees.
We know that Labor Laws can be complex. Grupo MedLegal recommends that the information presented in this article not be taken as formal legal or judicial counsel. If you think you have been a victim of unfair dismissal you should seek expert advice from one of our lawyers. If you believe you have a claim of unfair dismissal, contact us for advice, free of charge. You can also use our compensation calculator to get an estimate of how much compensation you may expect to receive because of work-related injury.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.