While employers have a right to end your employment without having to give you a reason, there are some reasons why they can’t let you go. These are reasons that are forbidden by law. You can choose to take legal action if you are terminated for one of these reasons.
You can’t be fired for any form of discrimination. This means due to your gender, sexual preference, age, disability status, marital status, race or religion. All of these are protected statuses, which means that employers can’t consider these for any type of job-related actions, including promotions and demotions.
Another reason why you can’t be terminated is because you refuse to take a lie detector test. This is a federal protection that is covered under the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, so don’t think that you have to take the test if you don’t want to.
Employers can’t fire you because you filed valid complaints about the company or a company representative. The key here is that the complaints have to be valid and true. This includes ones made based on employment law, discrimination, or harassment. It doesn’t matter if you reported sexual harassment by a supervisor or an incident of compromised safety standard that regulatory agencies should have known about.
When it comes to retaliatory terminations, you might need to go back a ways in your employment record to find out if the termination was warranted. One thing to look for is the history of your evaluations. If these are favorable and the termination occurred after you filed a complaint, it might be retaliation.
Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Termination Laws: Illegal Reasons,” accessed May 11, 2018