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Wrongful Termination: The Basics

While employers have a right to fire workers at will in New Jersey, they cannot do so for unlawful reasons. If you are wrongfully terminated, you have the right to bring an action against your employer. Although these cases are not easy to prove, an experienced employment attorney can work to present your case in the best light possible.

Some illegal reasons for wrongful termination include an employer’s firing an employee:

  • For whistleblowing (complaining about illegal activity by the employer)
  • In violation of federal or state laws on discrimination
  • For refusing to violate laws or regulations
  • In violation of a contract such as oral and written employment agreements or contracts, or union contracts
  • For alerting supervisors about OSHA violations
  • As a type of sexual harassment
  • For seeking accommodations for a disability
  • For filing a workers comp claim
  • For taking legal family or medical leave

The termination can be direct or constructive. Constructive termination occurs when the place of employment becomes so hostile or uncomfortable that an employee resigns.

Remedies available for wrongful termination include the following:

  • Injunctive relief at the job
  • Lost earnings
  • Punitive damages
  • Reinstatement to the position
  • Reinstatement of benefits
  • Legal fees
  • Court costs
  • Compensatory relief for pain and suffering
  • A severance package

Skilled attorneys know the type of evidence needed to prove a wrongful discharge case. Your employee handbook may cover the issue. If you suspect you are about to be wrongfully terminated, document as much as you can about the situation and get in touch with experienced New Jersey employment lawyers.

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Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

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Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


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