We are Employment Attorneys Providing Strong Advocacy in Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
Fighting for employers who discharged employees properly
Most employment work relations are “at-will,” which means they are not based on a written contract. Employers can generally terminate an at-will employee on a moment’s notice without having a specific reason. There are protections for at-will employees though. All employees, with or without a written contract, generally cannot be discriminated against or fired for asserting their legal rights. Employers need to know the Ohio and federal laws that govern how and when at-will employees can be discharged.
Employers who have a written contract with their employees must comply with the specific terms of the employment contract in addition to complying with the relevant employment laws. Written contracts are usually drafted for management and for employees a company deems indispensable. At Gertsburg Licata we represent employers when former employees accuse them of wrongful termination.
Types of wrongful termination
Many employees can justifiably claim that their firing was illegal. However, sometimes employees holding a grudge against their former employer will attempt to file a wrongful termination claim. Our Cleveland employment termination attorneys represent employers in wrongful termination cases involving:
- Discrimination. Employers generally cannot fire someone because of their race, gender, religion, national origin, or age. Employers cannot discharge someone with a disability or because they are in the military. Other protected classes can include the sexual orientation or pregnancy of the worker. Some of the laws that protect against discrimination include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
- Assertion of legal rights. Employers must understand that employees who assert legal rights cannot generally be fired for asserting those rights. Employers must comply with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employers cannot fire workers who file a workers’ compensation claim, so long as the worker complies with the duty to get medical attention for work injuries. Workers have the right to complain about safety violations without fear of being fired.
- Retaliation. Some workers have direct rights, in a relevant statute, to bring a retaliation claim for a wrongful firing. Employees cannot be fired for bringing an appropriate whistleblower claim.
- Illegal activities. Employers generally cannot force an employee to commit an act that is illegal or fraudulent.
- Creation of a hostile environment. Some employees accuse their employers of trying to force an employee to quit by making work conditions intolerable. Employers who subtly or directly force an employee to work in a hostile environment can be held liable for this type of discharge.
- Noncompliance with contract provisions. Employers who entered into written agreements/contracts with employees must comply with the terms of the contract. Our wrongful termination attorneys review each provision of the contract to see if the terms were met including requirements to give proper notice and showing there was legal cause for the discharge. The cause must meet the definition of cause in the contract.
It is important for employers to be aware of all of the laws surrounding why and how they can fire someone. If a former employer sues you or your company for wrongful termination in Ohio, Gertsburg Licata can help.
Speak with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer quickly
Employers need to understand the importance of gathering the right records, such as employment handbooks, company emails, payroll records, performance reviews, human resource records, and other work summaries. Coworkers can make or defeat a case depending on what they can confirm about the employee’s/employer’s version of events. To speak with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer at Gertsburg Licata, call 216-573-6000 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.