Wrongful termination of employment

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
When the length of your employment and the reasons in which you may be terminated are specified in your employment contract with an employer, these terms will generally govern when and how you can be terminated. If your employer attempts to fire you in violation of those terms in your contract, it can be considered wrongful termination and you'll usually have the right to file a claim and sue for lost wages, punitive damages, and occasionally, reinstatement of your job. It's important to remember that even in cases where your employment status is at the will of your employer, meaning he or she has the ability to terminate you for any reason and at any time, a wrongful termination situation can still arise. For example, if you're fired for a non-job related reason that's based on a discriminatory factor such as race, color, gender, religion, age, or disability, it's considered wrongful termination by many federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Finally, even if you quit, you may still pursue a wrongful discharge claim if your decision to resign voluntarily was a result of intolerable working conditions that involved sexual harassment or other discriminatory conduct. Courts will generally consider your voluntary resignation as a wrongful termination when you can show that you tried without success to have your employer fix the problem.
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