Wrongful Discharge Claims
Most individuals are loyal, work hard and do not expect to be fired for no reason. What many employees do not realize is that they work “at will,” which means they can be fired at any time for any reason as long as it is not an unlawful reason.
If an employer is motivated by unlawful considerations, there may be grounds for a wrongful discharge claim.
If you have been fired because of an employer’s illegal action, you need a highly skilled employment attorney to fight for your rights. The law firm of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, in Morristown, works with employees throughout New Jersey who have lost their jobs because of discrimination, retaliation or other violations of the law.What Are Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in New Jersey?
While not every employment termination is illegal, grounds for a wrongful dismissal claim include the following:
Discrimination – The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for an employer to fire an individual because of his or her age, race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, pregnancy, marital status, domestic partnership status, civil union status or military service.
Retaliation – An employee cannot be terminated for engaging in a legally protected activity such as aiding another employee in pursuing discrimination or harassment claims, seeking or taking legally protected leave for a family member’s or for their own serious health condition, or making a claim for workers’ compensation.
Whistleblowing – Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, an employee who discloses, testifies, objects to or refuses to participate in conduct that the employee reasonably believes is a violation of law or public policy is protected from retaliation. The conduct at issue may occur in many areas of law and could involve but are not limited to:
- Workplace safety issues
- Environmental problems
- Food and Drug Administration violations
- Securities and Exchange Commission violations
- Improper health care
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about unlawful discrimination or harassment.
Violations of public policy – An employer cannot fire an individual for exercising a constitutional right such as freedom of expression. for example, the New Jersey Supreme Court has held that an employee who is not in a safety-sensitive position cannot be fired for refusing or failing a random drug test because to do so would violate the employee’s constitutional right to privacy.
Breach of contract – An employer cannot terminate an employee in violation of an oral or written contract that limits the grounds for termination or provides for employment for a specified term.
At Lenzo & Reis, LLC, we know that getting fired can be devastating, especially for an individual who has been unjustly terminated. If you were discharged illegally, you may be able to recover money damages for lost pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.We Will Work to Understand Your Unique Circumstances and Protect Your Rights
Our lawyers routinely represent employees in New Jersey in wrongful termination cases. By understanding the unique circumstances of your wrongful dismissal, we will resolve your claim either by negotiation, mediation or litigation in the courts. If you believe you were unjustly fired, email or call Lenzo & Reis, LLC, today at (973) 845-9922.