Most employees are “at-will” employees with the exception being contract employees. An employer can choose to hire for any reason and can also choose to fire for any reason or no reason. An “at-will” employment does not have a stated duration and so can be terminated at any time. As the saying goes, he who hires reserves the right to fire. Fortunately, several laws exist to protect employees from being discriminated against in the hiring process or from being fired for certain reasons.
In the United States, there are certain characteristics which the law protects against employment discrimination. This includes gender, pregnancy, marital status, national origin, age (over 40), race, disability and religion. Members of this characteristic cannot be legally fired or laid off or not hired based on any of these characteristics.
Where a person is discriminated against based on any of these characteristics, the person may seek a claim for damages in a court of law. In order to prevail in an employment discrimination case, the person must prove the following:
In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers are to provide reasonable accommodations for any “qualified individual with a disability.” The individual must meet the ADA’s definition of disability and must be qualified for the job.
Damages for wrongful termination vary and usually depends on the exact claim asserted. Generally speaking however, a wrongfully terminated employee may seek damages in the form of loss of earnings and benefits, emotional distress and legal costs and fees.
If you think you have an employment discrimination or wrongful termination claim, please contact us to take advantage of our free consultation offer. Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you in order to determine if we can be of help to you.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you with your specific employment discrimination or wrongful termination case in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and California!