Unexpected job loss can weigh heavily on anyone. In some cases, it may have been unavoidable as layoffs or downsizing resulted in the elimination of various positions. On the other hand, some workers may feel as if they were fired from their jobs due to discriminatory reasons or other factors that may warrant wrongful termination claims.
Though Michigan is an at-will employment state, meaning that employers could fire an employee for almost any reason and an employee could quit for almost any reason, there are instances in which firing a worker could be illegal. If an employment contract was involved, the terms of that contract may void any at-will employment agreement that would have otherwise existed. If an employer violates the terms of the new employment contract, such as by firing an employee before the agreed-upon duration of employment expired, the termination may be illegal due to breach of contract.
It is also possible for an employee’s termination to be illegal if the reason for the firing was based on discriminatory factors. For example, if a worker is dismissed due to race, skin color, religion, gender, disability, age or other protected factors, reason may exist to pursue a wrongful termination claim. However, the employee would have to prove that the dismissal occurred due to such factors.
Pursuing a wrongful termination claim is not an easy process. Still, it may be appropriate for Michigan employees who feel that they were fired from their jobs for illegal reasons. If individuals do believe that they have reason to move forward a claim, they may wish to discuss their specific details with experienced employment law attorneys who can assess and evaluate a potential case.