Losing your job is a stressful experience even if you don’t particularly like your current position. Many people feel intense pressure to find a new position as quickly as possible and will worry about what a gap in their employment will mean for their upward career mobility.
New Jersey, like many other states, has at-will employment laws. You can leave your job at any point for any reason, and your employer can potentially terminate you whenever they want. Although a company can fire you for just about any legal reason or for no specific reason at all, it cannot terminate you for one of the three reasons below.
Reporting discrimination or harassment
Did you let Human Resources know that the supervisors in your department give certain workers preferential treatment when it comes to scheduling or the distribution of sales leads? Did you finally speak up about how one of your co-workers won’t stop touching you or making dirty jokes?
Every worker has the right to a harassment and discrimination-free workplace, and companies should never retaliate against those who report misconduct like discrimination and harassment.
Medical issues can affect someone’s daily life and potentially how well they perform their job. Whether someone gets hurt on the job or in an unrelated car crash, they can potentially present medical recommendations to their employer asking for reasonable accommodations.
Companies that fire workers for requesting medical support, including unpaid leave if the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to the situation, could face consequences for a wrongful termination.
Organizing with other workers
Did you start asking what other people in your department make because you suspect a sex-related wage gap? Did you host a party with a local union representative at your home, only to face termination from work the very next day you were on the schedule? Workers who try to organize with their co-workers to prevent employment abuses often find themselves enduring the very kind of company misconduct they hope to prevent.
Those who believe their employer fired them for an illegal purpose may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the company. Filing a wrongful termination claim can compensate you for your losses and push the company that unfairly fired you to change its s employment practices.