If you or someone you love was fired for illegal reasons, you may be eligible for compensation in a wrongful termination case.
Working With an Experienced Employment Attorney
Proving wrongful termination is one of the most difficult types of lawsuits. That being said, working with an attorney experienced with wrongful termination can ensure that your case is strong and that you receive the full amount of compensation for which you qualify.
Types of Wrongful Termination
Among the most common types of wrongful termination is discrimination. If you can prove that the reason you were fired had something to do with your gender (including the fact that you were pregnant or became a mother), race, disability, or religion, then the courts are going to take your claim very seriously.
Secondly, if your employer broke a contract, whether written, verbal, or implied, your firing also qualifies as wrongful termination. If the contract was implied or verbal, this can be challenging to prove, but it is doable with the help of an attorney.
Thirdly, your employer is not allowed to fire you because you refused an order that would have forced you to do something illegal. Similarly, employers can’t keep you from making the right decision legally, even if it puts them in a difficult position. This is known as the public policy exception, and you are protected for obeying the law.
Lastly, another common reason for wrongful termination occurs when an employer retaliates against an employee who files for workers’ compensation or is involved in any whistleblowing activity. All employers are entitled to workers’ comp after an accident at work that leaves them unable to return to work for some time.
Indiana Is an At-Will Employment State
In the face of your wrongful termination claim, your employer will most likely point to the fact that Indiana is an at-will employment state. That means that both you and the employer may end the working relationship at any time for no reason.
However, your case is not that your employer fired you for no reason or “just cause.” Rather, your case is that your employer violated one of the clear prohibitions listed above according to wrongful termination law in Indiana.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Termination Claims
The time limit under which you must file your wrongful termination claim varies by the type of violation. In most scenarios, you have about six months from when you were terminated. If your wrongful termination case involved discrimination, you have three hundred days from the discriminatory actions to file your claim.
Wrongful Termination Settlements
In many cases, your employer will offer you a cash settlement to keep your case from going to trial. While it is convenient to avoid the cost and time commitment involved in a wrongful termination lawsuit, not all settlements are fair.
Make sure that you understand the full amount of damages that you are owed as a result of the wrongful termination. It should include any lost wages, lost benefits, lost commissions and even pain and suffering. You were most likely inconvenienced by having to find a new job. You may even suffer from depression and other negative effects resulting from being terminated under such terrible circumstances.
If your case goes to trial and you can prove that your employer wrongfully terminated you, you will most likely receive far more in damages. And if the employer’s behavior was bad enough, you may even qualify for punitive damages.
How Long Do Wrongful Termination Lawsuits Take?
This is always a difficult question to answer. You should prepare yourself for the process to take at least one year. Many wrongful termination cases often take a couple of years or more, but every case is different.
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your wrongful termination case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.