Wrongful termination is a term that is used frequently but few actually understand its legal meaning. In Ohio, your employment is considered “at-will.” This means an employer can fire/terminate and/or discipline an employee at any time, for any reason, at any time, including a bad or unfair reason or even no reason at all. The only employees who are not considered “at-will” employees are certain government employees, those who have employment contracts, or those union employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Ohio?
If you have questions about whether you may be subject to an employment contract, call one of our Columbus wrongful termination lawyer today.
Now that we have explained what “at-will” means, could my termination still be considered unlawful or discriminatory (wrongful)? Yes. There are a variety of laws in Ohio that prohibit wrongful termination based on illegal reasons, such as discrimination based on disability, sex, religion, pregnancy and race. Ohio’s laws protect employees against these types of discrimination, as do federal laws. Ohio’s laws also protect employees from retaliation, another form of wrongful termination. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in specific types of “protected activity.” For more information on Ohio retaliation lawsuits, please read this post: Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me?
Confusion Regarding the Term “Wrongful Termination”
The term “wrongful termination” is just another way of saying termination based on illegal factors, like discrimination or retaliation. For instance, you may have a wrongful termination claim based on pregnancy discrimination but there is no claim for “wrongful termination” generally- it must be based on some type of unlawful activity. Employees often see the term wrongful termination and think it means that an employer cannot terminate someone for unfair reasons or reasons that do not make sense to the employee. This is not so. For a termination to be considered “wrongful,” it must actually be illegal- not just unfair. All employees who are unsure if their termination could be classified as wrongful should call our office. Our Columbus employment lawyers are standing by to answer your questions.
Types of “Wrongful” or Illegal Termination
Unlawful termination can take many forms. Some examples include termination based on race, disability, FMLA use, pregnancy, religious beliefs or practices and gender. Other examples include retaliatory termination for opposing discrimination (of yourself or someone else) or participating in an investigation regarding allegations of discrimination. If you complain about the fact that your employer is not paying you overtime and you are fired shortly after, you may have a wrongful termination claim. Our Columbus overtime lawyers will tell you if your claim has merit. To learn more about impermissible and illegal reasons for termination, visit our FAQ page for more information or call our office for a free consultation.
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I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
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Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.