For many in Michigan, holding on to a job in this unpredictable environment is more critical than ever. Those fortunate enough to work in businesses that have survived the recent global crises may feel especially grateful to have a steady paycheck. To receive notice of termination can be devastating, especially if the employee does not know the reason, and the fired employee may feel justified in pursuing legal action. However, an unexpected firing does not always mean it is a wrongful termination.

Most states have at-will employment, meaning that, with few exceptions, an employer can terminate a worker without cause, barring any specific stipulations in an employment contract. Even when workers have contracts, their bosses may still have the right to fire them if there is just cause, such as misconduct. An employee may think it is unfair, but it may not be wrongful in the legal sense.

A wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires someone based on some discriminatory reasons, such as the employee’s race, a disability, age or other protected category. An employee who loses his or her job after reporting illegal or unethical practices in the workplace, filing for workers’ compensation, or taking medical leave may also suspect wrongful termination as a form of retaliation. Termination that violates the clear terms of an employment contract may also give a worker cause to consider legal action.

Proving wrongful termination is not always easy. It may require careful documentation of the time leading up to the firing. Nevertheless, when a boss violates a worker’s rights with an unfair firing, the employee may find a strong advocate in an experienced Michigan attorney who will provide guidance in taking the most appropriate actions to hold the employer accountable.