Many states throughout the U.S. are “at-will” employment states, including Ohio. For employers and employees, this means the employer can discharge or use disciplinary actions against an employee for practically any reason whenever they wish. In fact, the employer doesn’t even need a reason to terminate an employee. Only certain individuals, such as those who work for the government or those who work under employment contracts and/or belong to a union with a collective bargaining agreement are not deemed to be “at-will”. This being said, your Ohio wrongful termination attorney will tell you that even as an at-will employee, an individual might still be able to bring a wrongful termination action against an employer.
What are the Grounds for Wrongful Termination?
Employees should note it can be quite a challenge to prove wrongful termination in Ohio, but it can be done, particularly if the employer has violated state and/or federal laws. There are a wide variety of reasons a discharge can be considered “wrongful”. Some of the commonly known reasons include an employee being terminated from a job because of his or her race, age, gender, national origin, and/or disability. But your Ohio wrongful termination attorney also knows employers are not allowed to discharge employees due to being active in the military or for taking certain types of medical leave or participating in whistleblowing activities.
Knowing and understanding the possible grounds for wrongful termination is crucial for both employees and employers. Anyone who believes he or she has been wrongfully terminated can file a lawsuit based on certain legal theories, such as implied contract and/or public policy violations.
Possible Remedies and Damages for Wrongful Termination
With respect to the possible remedies an employee can expect after a wrongful termination claim, individuals should be aware that such remedies are typically governed by the specific law violated by the employer when they were terminated. In some instances, a court might elect to award a wrongfully terminated employee back and/or front pay, attorneys’ fees, and more. Some courts might even require the employer to reinstate an employee back to his or her regular job title, along with recovering for any benefits lost due to the wrongful termination.
Additionally, depending on the specific harm the employee suffered, he or she might be entitled to compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, as well as other damages and costs.
The legality of an employer’s termination action often boils down to the motivation of the employer. This is why it is important for any employee who believes he or she may have been wrongfully terminated to work with a skilled attorney who can conduct an appropriate investigation into what took place prior to the termination date.
If you or someone you love has been wrongfully terminated, you are encouraged to contact an Ohio wrongful termination attorney at The Law Offices of Robert A. Klingler, Co., LPA as soon as possible.