Most employees in the United States are considered “at will,” and therefore can be fired for almost any reason (or no reason at all). The law does offer a few protections, however. In these instances, an employee may have recourse against their employer through a wrongful termination suit. How do you know if you have fallen victim though? The following explains further.
Being Fired for Refusing to Commit an Illegal Act
A case against a major bank in the U.S. is bringing a lot of attention to the concept of wrongful termination. In it, former employees allege that they were wrongfully terminated for refusing to open fraudulent accounts to meet unrealistic quotas. Further, promotions were reportedly given to the employees who were willing to open the fake accounts in order to meet their monthly sales quotas. Some 5,300 employees were ultimately terminated for opening approximately 2 million accounts without the authorization of customers. Many of them were reportedly hourly-waged employees who were simply trying to meet their required quotas, and often worked off the clock to do so.
If the allegations against the company turn out to be true, they could face serious consequences for their actions, including being forced to pay compensation to the employees they wrongfully terminated. This is because you cannot (and should not) be terminated for refusing to commit fraud or other illegal acts. Further, there are whistleblower protections that are meant to keep your employer from retaliating, should you report them for said activity.
Discrimination in the Workplace
Just as an employer cannot refuse you employment based upon your gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics, they cannot terminate you because of it. Unfortunately, proving discrimination in a wrongful termination suit is an extremely difficult task, not just because the employer is not obligated to provide the reason, but also because the employer may attempt to provide some other arbitrary reason for terminating you. This is why it is so critical that you have an experienced ally on your side.
Contact Our Buffalo Grove Employment Law Attorneys
There are many other examples of wrongful termination, including those that are covered under the Domestic Violence victims’ protection laws, Family Medical Leave Act, and more. Yet, there is only way to be certain that a violation has occurred. Your case should be examined by a qualified legal professional. Further, an attorney can protect your rights from further injustice.
At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we know just how significant the impact of a wrongful termination can be. Empathetic to your situation, our Buffalo Grove employment law attorneys will meticulously comb through the details of your case and seek the maximum compensation possible. Schedule your consultation by calling us at 847-934-6000 today.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.