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5 Most Common Wrongful Termination Examples You Need to Know

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee’s contract has been terminated by his or her employer, where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract, or a statute provision or rule in employment law.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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What is Considered Wrongful Termination?

There are numerous circumstances that could be considered wrongful termination, including when an employee is terminated because of workplace discriminatory practices, when a company violates public policy while firing an employee, or when a company's own termination protocol was not followed. Additionally, there are other reasons such as being fired for blowing the whistle on your employer as you report issues such as lack of safety in the workplace which could be considered wrongful termination.

What are Some Examples of Wrongful Termination?

Some of the most common examples of wrongful termination include:

  • A hostile work environment that tolerates sexual harassment - It can be degrading and humiliating to be treated poorly at work due to your sex. Sexual harassment occurs in situations involving an imbalance of power. When you refuse sexual advances or complain about sexual harassment, you are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is illegal for you to be terminated due to your refusal of advances or complaint.
  • Racial discrimination - May occur in the form of racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks, displaying racially offensive symbols, or posting racially offensive remarks. An employer is obligated to create a safe and welcoming environment for its employees, so if the workplace is hostile and employees feel uncomfortable, unwanted, or threatened, they have violated laws.
  • Violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides protected leave from work when employees are sick, need to take care of a loved one who is ill, or are caring for or bonding with a new baby. Employees have the right to return to their job and to be free from retaliation for taking leave.
  • Wage and Hour Dispute Wrongful Termination - If you were fighting against your employer to secure unpaid wages, commissions, or overtime and you were terminated as a result, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Common wage and hour violations include failure to pay minimum wage, not allowing employees to take rest or meal breaks, not paying workers overtime as required under labor laws, and misclassifying workers.
  • Whistleblower Retaliation Wrongful Termination - A whistleblower is an employee who reveals information about activity within a business that is deemed illegal, immoral, illicit, unsafe or fraudulent. An employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your rights under federal whistleblower protection laws. Retaliation includes firing or laying off, demoting, denying overtime or promotion, or reducing pay or hours.

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