When you landed your job, you may have intended it to be the one that started you on your life-long career path. You may have had visions of getting promotions, having a bigger office, being the boss' right-hand employee and eventually reaching all the goals you had in mind for your career. Unfortunately, you found out much quicker than anticipated that you would not reach those goals within your current company.
When your employer fired you, you may have felt caught unaware, or you may have anticipated such action because you faced other mistreatment, such as discrimination, during your time of employment. Now, you may wonder whether the termination was unlawful and whether you have options for having the matter addressed.
Considering wrongful termination
It can be difficult to determine whether a person's firing falls into the category of wrongful termination. You will need to go over the many details of your particular situation and consider how the law may come into play. Some matters to consider include the following:
- Contractual agreement: If you signed an employment contract and your employer violated the terms of that contract when he or she fired you, the situation may constitute wrongful discharge.
- Retaliation: If the dismissal came about after you filed a discrimination complaint, participated in an investigation into someone else's complaint or blew the whistle on unlawful activity within the company, your termination may have been an illegal act of retaliation.
- Discrimination: Federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from facing mistreatment due to their race, gender, religion, national origin and other protected characteristics. If your employer dismissed you solely because of one such characteristic, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
- Leave: If you took a leave of absence under federal or state laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, and your employer terminated you after exercising your right to that leave, this may have been an unlawful dismissal.
It can be difficult to know whether your particular circumstances warrant a wrongful termination claim, especially if you do not have thorough knowledge about how Oregon handles such scenarios. Fortunately, there are resources available that can help you better understand your situation, and by thoroughly reviewing your termination and gathering evidence of any acts of discrimination or other mistreatment, you may have a better chance of bolstering any claim you may file.