My husband was fired after working for 20 years and doing a great job. How do you prove wrongful termination?

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Question:

My husband was recently terminated from a job he has held for almost 20 years.  When he asked why he was being fired, his manager replied, “You and the company are going in different directions.”  He has never had a negative review, and was never told that there was any kind of problem with his performance.  His customers love him!  Can an employer do this?

Answer:

Unfortunately, all states are what is called “employment at will,” meaning that, in the absence of an employment contract that says otherwise, employers generally may terminate employees for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as the reason is not illegal.  Some examples of illegal reasons under wrongful termination law would be terminating employment because of gender, age, or race.

All states uphold this doctrine to some degree, and most recognize exceptions.  If employers ignore or refuse to follow the recognized exceptions of your state, a court of law may rule that the employer did not have good cause to terminate your husband's employment, and you may have a cause of action under wrongful termination law.

I would suggest consulting a wrongful termination attorney who is familiar with the employment laws in your state, and who can advise you whether or not your husband may have been wrongfully terminated.

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