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2 examples of wrongful termination 

On Behalf of | May 2, 2024 | Employment Law |

Massachusetts is an at-will employment state. What this means is that an employer can terminate a worker at any time, even without providing a reason. At the same time, employees are also entitled to leave without providing notice.

Despite at-will employment laws, there are still occasions when a termination may be unlawful. What are some of the most common examples of wrongful termination

1. Termination on discriminatory grounds 

Employees cannot be treated unfavorably because of protected characteristics such as their race, ethnicity, religious background, gender and disability. A termination is wrongful when an employee has been fired for any of these reasons.  

A wrongful termination can also be constructive. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer purposely makes the work environment unbearable for an employee, leaving them with no option other than to quit. For example, if an employer reduces the wages of someone based on a protected characteristic in an attempt to get them to resign. 

2. Termination for asserting legal rights 

Employees have a host of legal rights. For instance, in Massachusetts, employees must be paid a minimum wage of $15 per hour. If an employee raises a concern about being underpaid, they cannot be fired as a result. This is also the case if an employee raises concerns about health and safety issues and any form of unlawful activity going on in the workplace. Firing someone for asserting their legal rights amounts to wrongful termination. 

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, there are options available to you. You may be entitled to be reinstated into your position or financial compensation. Seeking legal guidance will give you a better indication of the best resolution in your circumstances.