Wrongful Discharge

Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 1356

Definition: Wrongful Discharge

Wrongful discharge is a situation where in an employee's employment has been terminated by the employer and the termination breaches certain points in the contract that was signed or agreed upon at the time of employment. Also known as - wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal. The reasons for the dismissal here are against the law and discriminatory. There are also cases wherein the employer is unable to follow certain procedures of employment termination. These cases also fall under wrongful discharge.

It is imperative for an HR manager to understand these wrongful termination laws. Majority of the employees in the USA are 'at will' employees - they can be fired at any time by the employer as far as the reason is not discriminatory or against the law.

These termination laws ensure that the employee is treated with fairness and dignity even at the time of termination.

Following are noteworthy situations:

a. Discrimination

An employer cannot terminate an employee on the grounds of - gender, caste, creed, race, orientation or age. 

b. Retaliation

An employer cannot terminate an employee for asserting his or her rights in the occurrence of discrimination of any kind. For example if an employee is fired for bringing a case of discrimination at work place to light - she can file for a retaliation lawsuit against the employer.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Wrongful Discharge along with its overview.

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