Wrongful Termination Lawyers in Charlotte Can Help You Fight Back Against Unjust or Illegal Firings
There’s been a lot of talk recently about people quitting their jobs, but not much attention is given to those who are fired from their positions. There are a million different reasons a person could lose their job — particularly in an at-will employment state like North Carolina — and in many cases, the reasoning behind the separation is completely appropriate. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you believe you’ve been unjustly or illegally fired from your position, a wrongful termination lawyer in Charlotte may be able to help you seek justice and hold your former employer accountable.
At Harman Law, we know the difficulties that can arise when an employer terminates a worker. Such an incident can leave you scrambling to find a new job and unsure of how you’ll pay your bills. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that around 150,000 people are unjustly fired from their positions every year. If you fall into this category, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim. To better understand your case and how to move forward, though, it’s imperative to speak with a Charlotte wrongful termination attorney. Harman Law offers confidential consultations, so reach out to us today to learn more.
Do You Have a Valid Wrongful Termination Case?
It can sometimes be difficult to understand whether you have a valid wrongful termination case. Employment law is complicated, and the fact that federal law can vary from state regulations makes things even more confusing. What surprises most people is that an unfair termination is not necessarily a wrongful termination. That’s because North Carolina is an at-will employment state. This means you can be terminated from your job for a variety of reasons — with no warning or opportunity to remedy a problem — or even be fired for no reason at all. This is a particular concern for those who don’t have employment contracts.
This is why it’s so important to speak with a wrongful termination attorney in Charlotte if you believe you’ve been unfairly fired. While you can be terminated for no reason at all, it doesn’t mean you can be terminated for any reason at all. If your separation violates North Carolina or federal law — or if it goes against the terms of your employment contract — there’s a very good chance you may have a valid case against your employer. Employment law attorneys are skilled at investigating these cases and identifying actions that could rise to the level of illegality.
What Acts Are Considered Wrongful Termination?
As discussed, the validity and success of your wrongful termination case will hinge on the events surrounding your dismissal. Remember, firing without cause is not wrongful under North Carolina law. However, if you fall into any of the following situations, you may be able to seek compensation through settlement negotiations or a wrongful termination lawsuit:
Violation of Employment Contract
It’s often only higher-paying and professional jobs that have an employment contract involved. The language of this contract could negate the at-will employment nature of positions in our state. Violations of any contract terms during termination could be cause for a wrongful termination suit.
There are various aspects of a person’s identity that cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. Termination related to a protected class is illegal. These classes include gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and other protected classes. Even in at-will employment states, a law has been broken when an employer terminates someone for discriminatory reasons.
Termination Over Refusal to Commit Crimes
If an employer asks a worker to engage in illegal activities, they cannot terminate their employee for refusing to do so. This is also true for unethical activities. Remember, it’s better to be fired over refusing to take place in questionable activities rather than becoming an accomplice to possibly illegal conduct.
Firing Over Legally Protected Activities
Employees are free to practice their legal rights without fear of termination. Actions such as reporting safety violations, requesting accommodations, intervening to protect others from sexual harassment, and refusing to engage in discriminatory actions are all protected activities under the law.
Employers cannot fire their workers as retaliation for certain actions. These actions include being a whistleblower, seeking workers’ compensation benefits, filing a lawsuit, and reporting illegal conduct — among other activities. For instance, it’s illegal to fire someone for reporting sexual harassment by a superior.
How to Take Action
If you believe your termination is linked to any of the above reasons, employment lawyers in Charlotte may be your best bet. As an average citizen, the resources at your disposal are minimal. This can make it difficult to prove wrongful termination — particularly when you’re no longer at a company. A skilled attorney can investigate your case with the power of federal and state law behind them.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Termination in North Carolina?
As with most legal actions, there is a statute of limitations for wrongful termination. This is essentially a deadline in which a lawsuit must be filed. Failure to do so within this timeframe can forfeit a person’s right to seek justice — even if there’s no question that they were fired for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for wrongful termination is three years. Procrastination may seem like an ideal option — particularly if you’re hoping things will get better at your job — but waiting to file complaints and start your wrongful termination case can make it more difficult to prove your claim.
It’s also important to note that employment law is different on national and state levels. For instance, termination linked to discrimination is actually a federal case. In these instances, you’ll typically have 180 days to file complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is a mandatory prerequisite prior to filing a federal lawsuit. If your claim is being filed under the Equal Pay Act, however, you do not have to go through this step prior to filing a wrongful termination claim. However, you should consider seeking legal representation before making a decision.
A wrongful termination lawyer in Charlotte may recommend filing claims under each federal law.
Contact a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Charlotte Today
If you were fired from your job due to unjust or illegal reasons, you may be confused about what to do next. You’re no doubt worried about how you’ll continue earning a living, and the idea of fighting back against being wrongfully terminated while searching for a new position probably seems daunting. Fortunately, you don’t have to undertake this task on your own. A wrongful termination attorney can handle all the heavy lifting for you and fight to ensure your former employer is held accountable for their actions. Even in an at-will employment state like North Carolina, you have rights that are protected under the law.
At Harman Law, we’ve spent years assisting clients who were victims of wrongful termination and other violations of employment law. Our team of experienced attorneys has helped workers assert their rights under both state and federal law, and if you’ve been unfairly fired from your position, we may be able to help you as well. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced legal professional at Harman Law. With our wrongful termination lawyers in Charlotte on your side, you’ll have an advocate ready to fight to protect your rights under all relevant employment laws.