Can I Sue My Employer if I Am Terminated for Something I Didn’t Do?

Nov 02, 2019
By Peter Friedmann

Merely getting fired because of false accusations in Ohio does not give you grounds to sue your former employer for wrongful termination. This sounds unfair, and it is. But federal laws and state statutes give employers in Ohio broad authority to fire workers for cause—even if that cause is an allegation that you committed a crime, error, or policy violation that cannot be proven true. Read this related article:  Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Ohio?

The strongest grounds for claiming wrongful termination fall into the broad categories of discrimination and retaliation. An employer cannot base its decision to fire you on your race, color, national original, sex, religion, age, pregnancy, disability, or military status.

Likewise, an employer cannot punish you by terminating your employment because you engaged in what is called “protected activity.” A partial list of protected activities for which employees may suffer retaliation includes:

  • Reporting discrimination or harassment
  • Reporting illegal activities regulatory violations, or safety hazards that fall under OSHA
  • Filing a Workers Compensation claim due to a workplace injury
  • Cooperating with an investigation into a report of discrimination, harassment, or illegal activities
  • Requesting an accommodation for a disability
  • Becoming pregnant or having a child
  • Organizing a union
  • Demanding equal pay and/or earned overtime
  • Requesting and/or taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act

If an employer relies on a false accusation to fire you, it may be worth speaking with a wrongful termination attorney to determine if the actual intent was discriminatory or retaliatory. Lawyers in the Columbus offices of The Friedmann Firm offer free and confidential consultations to workers all across Ohio, You can schedule an appointment online or speak with an attorney by calling 614.610.9755.