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When is a termination considered wrongful?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2021 | Employment Law

Although there are some exceptions, most workers in Rhode Island are considered “at-will.” In at-will employment, an employer may fire or lay off workers without any reason for doing so. However, wrongful termination can still take place in at-will employment. Here are the basics of what to look out for when wondering whether a termination was wrongful.

A wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires or lays off an employee illegally. This can be confusing in an at-will employment state like Rhode Island, especially since an employer might try to claim that there was no reason for the termination if challenged. A few examples of illegal reasons for termination someone include firing:

  • In violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws
  • In violation of written and oral employment agreements
  • As retaliation for reporting discrimination
  • As a type of sexual harassment

It is important to remember that there are many legal reasons for firing or laying off workers, too. Just because a termination is inconvenient or upsetting does not necessarily mean that it was wrongful. Consider some of the following legal reasons for termination in Rhode Island:

  • Poor performance
  • Mass layoffs
  • Reduction in workforce

Determining whether a firing was a wrongful termination can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if the victim was subjected to improper treatment while on the job. Still, successfully navigating a wrongful termination claim can be essential for victims. Those who do so often secure necessary compensation for their damages, including lost wages and emotional distress.