1. Implied PromisesWhen you accept a job offer for a certain amount of pay in exchange for your work, you enter a contract with your employer – whether it’s written or unwritten.
Employers also make the rules at your company, but they can get into trouble when they don’t follow the policies they’ve created.
If your employer doesn’t follow that process correctly, with the proper documentation, it could also be grounds for a lawsuit.
2. You were Discriminated AgainstEmployers cannot fire an employee because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age (if over 40), disability, or national origin.
3. There was a Breech of Good Faith and Fair DealingIf you believe you were fired so your employer wouldn’t have to pay you a sales commission, for example, that would be a breach of good faith and fair dealing.
The same applies if you were misled about promotion or wage increases, or if your employer made up a reason to fire you, when the true reason was to be able to hire someone who would earn a smaller paycheck.
4. Your Employer Violated Public PolicyAccording to certain laws, you cannot be fired for taking time off for jury duty, to vote, or to serve in the military or National Guard.
In addition, you cannot be fired for refusing to commit an illegal act at your employer’s request. You also can’t be fired for whistle-blowing. Whistle-blowing laws are complex, but essentially you cannot be fired if you report illegal actions your company has committed. It doesn’t stop employers from firing you anyway, however; the Department of Energy is under investigation for whistle-blowing retaliation cases last year.
5. Your Employer Retaliated Against YouSimilar to whistle-blowing, if you do something that is legally protected in the workplace, your employer cannot retaliate against you by showing you the door.
If you formally complain about a health or safety concern in the workplace, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act protects you from being fired for doing so.
You also cannot lose your job if you file a harassment complaint, or if you file a concern with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
You must prove that your complaint triggered your boss to act (i.e. giving you a reprimand) and that you subsequently suffered adverse consequences (you were fired).
6. Your Employer Committed Fraud“The hardest part of proving fraud is showing that the employer acted badly on purpose, in an intentional effort to trick you. That requires good documentation of how, when, to whom, and by what means the false representations were made,” Nolo explains.
However, if you can prove that a superior knew about false information that was given to you in order to trick you, and that you acted upon that information and were later fired for it, you can claim fraud in your termination suit.
7. You were DefamedDefamation occurs when your reputation or good standing in the community is jeopardized by someone who intentionally spreads false facts about you.
If your employer defames you during the firing process, you can claim a wrongful termination and a potentially win a defamation suit, since those false facts could in turn make it difficult for you to find another job.