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NY and NJ Employment Litigation Attorneys Fight “Wrongful” Termination

Aggressive representation for unlawfully discharged workers

Most workers in New York and New Jersey are at-will employees, which means the employer can terminate them at any time without having to show cause. However, state and federal law prohibits employers from firing employees for unlawful reasons. If you were fired in retaliation for exercising a legally protected right, you can seek damages. As a leading employment litigation law firm in northern New Jersey, Deutsch Atkins, P.C. assists workers who have been illegally discharged. We can evaluate your case and help you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

What are unlawful reasons to fire an employee?

An employer cannot discharge an employee for reasons related to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion or sexual orientation. This is considered discrimination under state and federal employment law. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination; if an employer fires a worker for refusing to submit to sexual advances, that is also “wrongful” termination. Other unlawful purposes include:

  • Retaliation for a protected act — Employers are within their rights to discipline employees for actions that are detrimental to the business. However, an employee cannot be punished or discharged for whistleblowing or exercising other protected rights, such as:
    • Seeking accommodation for a disability or pregnancy
    • Filing a workers’ compensation claim
    • Taking family or medical leave
  • Employee’s refusal to break the law — An employer cannot require a worker to violate the law as a term of employment. For example, a bookkeeper who is fired for refusing to falsify tax records has a case for wrongful termination.

Unlawful termination can be an overt firing or a constructive discharge whereby the employer makes the worker’s life so miserable, due to his/her being in a protected class or blowing the whistle, that the worker resigns.

What damages can a fired worker recover for unlawful termination?

Whether you were fired for informing the government about a company’s illegal activities or for another protected reason, remedies are available for “wrongful” termination.

  • Reinstatement — A return to your position at the same salary and benefits.
  • Injunctive relief — A court order to cease abusive or discriminatory treatment.
  • Lost earnings — Compensation for lost income following your termination.
  • Punitive damages — The court has discretion to punish the employer for illegal behavior.
  • Legal expenses — Attorney fees and court costs.
  • Pain and suffering — Compensation for emotional hardship.

“Wrongful” termination is not easy to prove. It requires a skilled attorney capable of assembling the evidence and constructing a persuasive case before a judge or jury.

Contact a leading NJ law firm for assistance with your unlawful termination case

Your job is your lifeline; don’t be afraid to fight for it! Deutsch Atkins, P.C. provides aggressive employment litigation services. Call us today at 551.245.8894 or online to schedule a confidential phone consultation. Our firm has offices in Bergen County, New Jersey, Rockland County, New York and Manhattan.