Wrongful Termination and How To Protect Yourself

Wrongful Termination and How To Protect YourselfIt is extremely important for a business owner to respect their employees and their working environment at a professional establishment. One of the most important situations to be cautious around is the discharge of an employee. If you do not follow the rules and regulations set in place by the government and the state—you could be looking at a serious claim. If you have been laid off or fired recently and believe you have been discharged for an unlawful reason, you do have the right to bring a claim for wrongful termination against your former employer.

What is Wrongful Termination

“Wrongful Termination” means that an employer has fired or laid off an employee that is in violation of federal, state, local laws, or the terms of an employee agreement. Some of these reasons include:

  1. Discrimination—Federal laws protect employees from being fired due to age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, and sex. Several states and localities prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexuality.
  2. Harassment—The law prohibits offensive remarks about an employee’s race or gender. Comments that go beyond teasing and isolated incidents that create a hostile work environment (such as sexual harassment).
  3. Retaliation—Cannot terminate or punish employees for their participation in certain protected practices. These include reporting illegal behavior and participating in any investigation into potentially illegal behavior (such as investigators researching minimum wage violations).
  4. Breach of Contract—Cannot terminate an employee that is in violation of an employment agreement. Some workers have written contracts and even those without may have an implied contract (such as the employer’s words, actions, or a detailed handbook).

Severance Packages

A severance package is pay and benefits employees receive when they leave the company they worked at. In addition to their remaining regular pay, an example can include payment for unused vacation time or sick leave. An employer is not required to give severance pay to an employee. The only case would be unless an employment contract requires it or the employee handbook states that the employer has a policy of doing so.

Coverage Options

Wrongful termination used to be covered under regular BOP’s. In some cases, insurance companies had to pay a hefty amount, sometimes millions of dollars, when a client (employer) was accused of engaging in a pattern of discriminatory practices. Now, they begin to offer employment practices liability insurance as a separate product. This is a type of liability insurance covering wrongful acts arising from the employment process. It also helps to control the cost of insuring higher-risk clients in larger businesses or businesses with a long history of getting sued by former employees.

At TJ Woods, we offer all types of policies that will protect employers and businesses to ensure they are properly covered when a serious matter arises. To make sure you have the right coverage, contact one of our expert agents today!