In the United States, one of our greatest national goals is inclusiveness. As a society, we believe in judging individuals on their merits rather than on surface-level details. We even have laws in place to prevent small-minded people from acting on their prejudices.
Unfortunately, even though these laws are in place, employers violate them with shocking frequency. According to some statistics, roughly 25% of workers believe they have been the victims of discrimination. Even more disturbing, roughly 75% of respondents believed that all employers engage in some form of discrimination.
When small-minded personal biases cause employees to lose their jobs, a terrible injustice has been committed. It is especially important to recognize when a termination is unlawful, and to understand the recourses that you have.
Some of the most frequently cited examples of unlawful termination concern:
- Discrimination. There are numerous federal laws in place which protect workers from being fired because of sex, race, color, age, nationality, religion, pregnancy, disability, or other considerations. If you have been fired and you believe discrimination is at the root of your dismissal, your rights have been violated.
- Retaliation. Individuals who have filed complaints against their supervisors or managers are protected from retaliatory actions, such as firing. If you have lost your job as a result of a whistleblower action, it may be beneficial to discuss your case with a discrimination attorney.
- Hostile work environment. Occasionally, a manager will try to create an oppressive or hostile work environment to force an individual into quitting. This is also illegal. If you have quit a job for such a reason, you may be entitled to compensation.