Although employees are presumed to be employed at will, in reality, it is anything but – the vast array of employment laws and other considerations greatly diminish an employer's ability to terminate an employee at will. This is why making an informed decision before disciplining or discharging an employee is critical, and why consulting with an experienced employment attorney is not only prudent, but critical. Just some of the areas of concern include:
- Discrimination and retaliation: Employees who are terminated often assert claims for discrimination, contending that they were treated differently because of their race, sex, age, disability, etc., or in retaliation for engaging in protected conduct, all in violation of state and/or federal law.
- Wrongful discharge: In addition to pursuing claims under state and federal discrimination laws, disgruntled employees frequently seek recourse under state wrongful discharge and other laws, claiming breach of contract, a violation of public policy, defamation, whistleblowing, etc.
- Unemployment compensation: Every discharge inevitably results in a claim for unemployment compensation, and employees are generally eligible for benefits unless it is proven that they engaged in misconduct or voluntarily terminated their employment – which is the employer's burden and not an easy task.
Contact Wessels Sherman Joerg Liszka Laverty Seneczko P.C.
If you would like to consult with one of our experienced employment attorneys, please feel free to contact one of our five Midwest locations: