Wrongfully Terminated in Lambertville? Contact Us
As in most states, employment in New Jersey is at will. Essentially, this means that an employer can terminate you for almost any reason. In fact, they don’t have to provide a reason at all—they can simply get rid of you because they want to. Although at-will employment might seem unfair, it has been the law in our state for decades.
However, employers do face some limits on their ability to terminate an employee. Important state and federal laws prohibit an employer from firing someone when motivated by discrimination or retaliation or by the employee’s refusal to break the law.
If you suspect your termination was illegal, give Zatuchni & Associates a call. Our New Jersey wrongful termination lawyers can review the facts and determine if you have available legal remedies.
Wrongful Termination Claims
Our clients can bring a wrongful termination claim in a variety of situations, such as:
- Breach of contract. You might have signed an employment contract, in which case you are not an at-will employee. Employers must honor the contract, which usually limits termination for “cause” and which requires certain steps that an employer must follow before termination.
- Quasi-contract. Some employees don’t have an employment contract. But an employee handbook or manual provides for certain procedures which the employer violates. When language is specific enough, these handbooks or manuals can create certain rights.
- Discrimination. No employer should illegally discriminate. Fortunately, both state and federal laws protect discrimination based on certain protected characteristics, such as age, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, nationality, and other characteristics.
- Retaliation for exercising a right. Employers cannot “get back” at an employee by firing them for exercising a right, such as a right to unionize or report illegal discrimination. Firing someone for taking protected family leave also falls in this category.
- Retaliation for refusal to break the law. No employer can request that an employee violate the law. For example, a manager cannot be fired for refusing to lay off workers based on age.
The above are some of the most common wrongful termination claims. If you suspect your firing was illegal, reach out to a Lambertville wrongful termination attorney to review.
Remedies & Compensation
We seek justice for our clients in any wrongful termination claim, which can include requests for monetary compensation and other remedies:
- Reinstatement into your old job
- Reasonable accommodations if you are disabled and were unfairly denied them
- Backpay (compensation you were entitled to from the date of termination)
- Frontpay (compensation you could have received if you returned to work in improved conditions)
- Pain and suffering and/or emotional distress damages
- Punitive damages for intentional or egregious violations of the law
- Attorneys’ fees
Building a Case for Wrongful Termination
Many fired employees come to use suspecting they were illegally fired but lacking solid proof. For example, no one came right out and told them that a company was laying off all female employees or all only workers aged 60 or older. But when they surveyed the list of people laid off, they noticed patterns.
Other employees are fired allegedly “for cause,” but they suspect the official reason was merely pretextual. Instead, they suspect a discriminatory or retaliatory motive was at play.
At Zatuchni & Associates, we use our experience to help clients bring valid claims for wrongful termination. We realize that workers do not have their hands on all relevant information. Indeed, hiring and firing decisions are usually made in secret.
We start every case by listening to your side of the story and analyzing whether you have a valid claim or identifying what information we need to make that determination. We can answer any questions you have in a confidential setting.
If hired, we get to work by obtaining relevant information from an employer. This might include requests for information or requests to interview co-workers and management.
We also file appropriate administrative complaints, if necessary. For example, a wrongful termination claim for discrimination or retaliation usually begins by filing a charge with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
Any wrongful termination claim requires building out a strategy—including a possible media strategy. Wrongful termination claims against big companies or claims involving discrimination often make the news, and employers aggressively fight back against these charges, sometimes by disparaging a workers’ reputation.
Speak with Our Lambertville Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Zatuchni & Associates has several decades of collective experience representing men and women illegally fired. We will gladly put this experience to your benefit as we seek fair compensation and, more importantly, justice. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a member of our firm.