The term “wrongful termination” is often used to describe any involuntary termination in which an employee believes he or she was treated unfairly. Although being fired in an unfair manner is not necessarily unlawful, there are of course numerous types of involuntary terminations that, in addition to being unfair, are in fact also unlawful. These may include a termination that is a breach of a provision within an employment agreement. In some cases a wrongful termination may be a result of an employer not following it’s own employment policies.
The most frequent form of wrongful terminations is discrimination. These terminations are usually a result of some form of disparate treatment, in which an employee feels that he or she is being treated in a different manner than other similarly situated employees, and if it wasn’t for their protected class status (i.e. age, disability, race, gender and/or gender preference, ethnic background, religious preference, recovering addiction etc.) they would not have been fired.
Other forms of wrongful terminations include a “breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” terminations for “whistle blowing,” violations of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, Retaliatory Discharge under the Worker’s Compensation Act, and terminations for jury service.
The list above includes only some of the types of “wrongful terminations” in Massachusetts. Our office specializes in employment law. If you are an employee or employer who has questions about a termination, we invite you to sit down and speak with us regarding your specific situation.