Rights of Employees
Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. represents employees who have been fired in violation of their legal rights in New York and New Jersey by negotiating, arbitrating and litigating their legal claims.Employment at Will
Many people believe they experienced a “wrongful termination” or a "wrongful discharge" because they were fired unfairly, arbitrarily, or without just cause. However, not every unfair firing is illegal.
That is because most employees who work in New Jersey and New York can be fired for almost any reason or even for no reason at all. Employment lawyers call this being an employee at will since you can be fired or resign at will.
Unless you have a written or verbal term of years’ employment contract, are a civil service employee, a member of a labor union, or have some other specific legal protection from being fired without cause, you probably are an employee at will.Was I Wrongfully Terminated?
Fortunately, there are many important exceptions to employment at will. Our New Jersey wrongful discharge lawyers are experienced at evaluating whether you were fired illegal, and enforcing your rights.
For example, it is unlawful discrimination if your company fires you because of your age, color, gender, physical or mental disability, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status.
Similarly, it can be illegal for your employer to terminate your employment in retaliation for you objecting to a violation of the law, because you took a leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), or because you asserted a claim under a state or federal wage and hour law.
You also could have a discrimination claim if you were fired or constructively discharged (forced to quit) because your employer refused to provide you a reasonable accommodation for your physical or mental disability, pregnancy, or religious beliefs.
In addition, if you work for the local, state or federal government, you have additional protections from being fired in violation of your Constitutional rights, such as your First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Likewise, if you own stock in a closely held corporation and the company fired you or otherwise forced you out, you might have a legal claim as an oppressed shareholder.
Those are just some examples of many different legal claims that fall under the broad category of wrongful discharge.
In some situations, you can have a claim for wrongful termination if you were forced to resign. More specifically, if you were severely harassed or your legal rights were otherwise violated in a way that would cause a reasonable person to feel they had no choice but to resign, then you may have a constructive discharge claim.
Other Adverse Employment Actions
Being wrongfully fired is not the only workplace harm that can be legally actionable. Rather, you also could have a legal claim if you were not hired, not promoted, demoted, or harassed for an unlawful reason. Additional information is available on our adverse employment actions page.
There are many different laws that limit the reasons why a company in New Jersey, New York State, or New York City can fire you. If you have been fired without any good reason, you should consider meeting with one of our experienced New Jersey wrongful termination attorneys to discuss whether you have a wrongful termination claim.
Even if you do not have a legal claim, an employment lawyer might be able to help you in other ways, like explaining or improving your severance package or helping you understand your obligations under a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation to discuss your claim with one of our New Jersey wrongful discharge lawyers, please feel free to contact us online or call us at (201) 777-2250.