Can I Still Be Terminated If I Have A Contract With My Employer?
The question of whether a particular employee’s contract would prevent her employer from firing her truly depends on what is in the contract. Employment contracts typically call falls into one of two categories: (1) A contract that is a general agreement that covers all of the terms of the employment but it is not for a specific period of time; or (2) A contract that is for a specific period of time and typically allows for the employment relationship to be terminated only in certain limited circumstances. In the first category, the employee would be considered an “at-will” employee that can be fired at any time for any reason. On the other hand, an employee who falls into the second category (such as a school teacher or a professional athlete), generally can only be fired by doing something that violates a specific term of the contract (such as not perform up to a certain standard that is explained in the contract, or by violating a morals clause that was in the contract).
If My Employer Violated The Terms In The Employee Handbook, Can I Hold Him Responsible?
If your employer violated the terms in the employee handbook, you most likely would not be able to hold him responsible. If the violation was egregious and caused real financial consequences for the employee, it is certainly worth discussing the issue with an employment attorney, but the fact is that employers usually have their own lawyers write the Employee Handbooks, and because they are written by a lawyer, they almost always include clauses that make it almost impossible to hold an employer responsible for violating it.
Even in the best cases of policies in an employee handbook having been ignored or violated, the unfortunate truth is that courts are very unpredictable in how they enforce employee handbooks. It depends a lot on such things as how consistent the employer was in making sure that all employees got the employee handbook, or how consistent the employer was in actually following the procedures outlined in it. Questions such as, “Did the employee ever benefit from the fact that the employer was not following the provisions of the employee handbook” will likely come into play if the employee were to ever pursue legal action to enforce it. In the end, if the employee’s primary basis for a claim of wrongful termination is that the firing violated the rules set forth in the employee handbook, then the employee will probably not win.
What Steps Do I Need To Take If I Believe I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, the first step is to have a consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer to figure out whether or not you actually have a case. Anyone who is reading this article on my website may have seen some other articles on my website that talk about how an employee can figure out whether their case is worth pursuing. Maybe you do not even need to talk to an attorney if reading those articles helped you figure out that, even though the employer was unfair, they probably did not do anything illegal, and therefore your case is probably not worth pursuing. For those employees who are still unsure, a consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer is a good idea.
Talking to an attorney to explain your situation, and then allowing that attorney to apply the facts of your situation to the various laws that apply so he can figure out whether there is a legitimate claim for wrongful termination is really the only way to find out for sure if your case is worth pursuing. Other than talking to an attorney, the only other option that a fired employee really has is to file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This can be done if the employee was terminated because of his race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability status or age. If you feel that one of those things came into play in the employer’s decision to fire you, then you do have the option of filing the Charge of Discrimination, but I still recommend setting up a consultation with an attorney to make sure you have considered everything before filing.
For more information on Termination During An Ongoing Contract, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 378-2400 today.
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