There are multiple reasons why an individual may choose to quit their job. However, if employees resign due to a hostile work environment, they may have grounds to sue their employer for wrongful termination. If you are interested in learning more, click here.
What is wrongful termination?
When an employee is fired or resigns for reasons that are not legally protected, this is referred to as wrongful termination. For example, wrongful termination would occur if an employee was fired because they refused to engage in illegal activities. Furthermore, wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or resigns in retribution for reporting workplace harassment or discrimination. Workers who have been unlawfully terminated may have grounds to sue their company or employer.
Resigning due to discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace can take several forms. Some common examples are:
- Gender discrimination
- Race discrimination
- Age discrimination
Most states have at-will employment.
State laws vary from one state to the next, but in most places, unless you have a written employment contract that states otherwise, your job is “at will.” Simply put, your manager has the authority to fire you for any good reason or no reason at all. They just can not fire you for a bad — that is, illegal — reason. This gives rise to a claim for wrongful termination.
The benefit of at-will employment for the employee is that you can leave for any reason or no reason at all. If you don’t have an employment contract, you can simply resign – no contract breach. Contrary to popular belief, you are not required to give two weeks’ notice. Some may consider it unprofessional, but you can simply quit.
When can you not sue your former employer?
Unless you left for specific reasons, you have no legal grounds to sue your employer. And if you quit, it will be more difficult, but not impossible, to obtain unemployment benefits. Therefore you want to think hard about your options before you quit. Consider hiring an employment lawyer.
How do you file a wrongful termination claim?
If you lose your job and believe you have a wrongful termination claim against your former employer, you should immediately take the following steps:
- Speak with an experienced wrongful termination attorney.
- Gather and save all accessible evidence in your case.
Discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently than other employees because of protected characteristics such as age, race, or gender. If you believe you were the victim of workplace discrimination that caused you to resign, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer. An employment lawyer can assist you in determining whether you have a valid claim and can represent you in court.