At-will employment allows freedom for both workers and their employers. Those working without contracted terms have the right to resign from their position for any reason, at any time. An employer, meanwhile, maintains the option to modify terms such as benefits, policies and scheduled shifts with no obligation to keep workers on their payroll.
Although these rights pertain to labor laws, it’s important to remember that your at-will rights aren’t dependent upon your employment status. Certain employer actions may present good reason to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
With or without reason, was the end of your employment legal?
Cases of discrimination or illegal practices should certainly allow workers to hold their employer accountable. The same goes for retaliation after an employee raises concerns about their best interests.
Depending on the situation, it may seem as though it’s of no use to question a company’s position of power, especially when you’re not quite sure whether you have a case against them. To determine whether you might have a wrongful termination claim, think about the events that led up to your dismissal.
Did your employer:
- Ask you to participate in unlawful activities?
- Violate public or company policy?
- Fire you because you reported discriminatory treatment?
- Breach the terms of your employment contract?
- Replace you with someone who isn’t a member of your protected class?
If your employer made your work environment so miserable that you felt forced to leave, you should also explore your options. Constructive discharge may allow you some legal rights, even if you resigned from your position.