Many people feel that because Michigan is an “at-will” work state that employers do not need a specific reason to terminate employment. However, there are some situations where there are exceptions considered and an employee may file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Understanding the various circumstances in which you can take legal action to protect your rights is imperative. As an employee, you should recognize these conditions and if you are ever wrongfully terminated, you may have the right to take legal action against your employer.
If an employer attempts to terminate an employee based on a discriminatory reason, it may be considered wrongful termination. For instance, trying to fire an employee based on their race, skin color, sex, religion, disability, age, or other protected characteristic.
When an employer and employee have a written contract and the termination would essentially violate the terms of said contract, it may be considered wrongful termination. It must be determined if the attempt to fire the employee was considered a violation of the contract terms.
Employees have a right to report any safety violations that threaten their health. However, if the employer attempts to fire the employee for reporting the incident or health violation, it can be considered wrongful termination and the employee may have a right to file a claim.
There are also situations to factor whether oral promises were made regarding length of employment. If the employer promises to not terminate employment for a specific length of time, then break that oral promise, the employee may have a right to a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Former employees can file a wrongful termination claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission once they have gathered relevant materials as proof. A claim can be submitted on the EEOC’s website, by contacting them over the phone, or by visiting the local EEOC office.