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Wrongful termination: Understand your rights and options

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Wrongful Termination

With some exceptions, employers in Indiana have the right to terminate employees at any time and for any reason or none at all. However, there are several exceptions to this that can make a termination illegal.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that violate state or federal laws. Understanding what amounts to unlawful termination as an employee can help you assert your legal rights if you were unlawfully dismissed from your job.

What constitutes wrongful termination?

A termination is unlawful if it was based on illegal reasons. This includes termination due to discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age and other protected characteristics. Your employer cannot legally dismiss you due to your physical or mental disability, pregnancy or military service.

The law also prohibits employers from terminating employees in retaliation for exercising their legal rights. You cannot be legally fired for filing a discrimination complaint, reporting workplace safety violations or taking protected leave.

Similarly, firing an employee for reasons that violate public policy, such as refusing to commit an illegal act, amount to wrongful termination.

Take informed action

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, start by gathering as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Emails, performance evaluations and witness statements are examples of crucial evidence that can bolster your case.

Depending on the reasons behind the unlawful dismissal, you may have various legal options to get justice. For instance, you could file a discrimination claim or even a lawsuit against your employer and recover damages like back pay, reinstatement and emotional distress caused by wrongful termination.

Do not take a wrongful termination lying down, even if you are employed at will in Indiana. Reaching out for qualified guidance can help determine the best course of action and protect your rights.