Baltimore, Maryland Wrongful Termination Attorney
If you have recently been fired from your job, it can be a confusing time filled with financial struggles. The reason you were fired might be all the more confusing and troublesome. Depending on your employment status, especially if you had an employment contract, your firing may be exceedingly unfair – and completely illegal.
If you were fired in breach of your employment contract, against the terms of your employee handbook, or because you complained about wages or time off you were legally entitled to, you might have a case for a wrongful termination lawsuit. A business and employment lawyer might be able to help you seek damages for your wrongful termination. In Baltimore, the Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey fights to help unfairly terminated workers seek legal remedies for their firing.
What is Wrongful Termination in Maryland?
Many federal and state statutes help protect employees across the nation from unfair treatment by their bosses. Even something as simple as minimum wage protections should be strictly enforced to ensure a worker takes home a fair paycheck. Other rules that constrain your boss may come from express or implied contracts you and other workers had with your employer. Violating any of these rules may be considered “wrongful termination” and entitle the employee to monetary damages or reinstatement.
Discriminatory firings are one of the most severe types of wrongful termination. Being fired because of your age, race, sex, or a disability is unacceptable. Federal antidiscrimination laws, such as title VII of the civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act help to keep workers free from discrimination in the workplace. When employees fail to follow these rules, these laws also give them a right to sue their former employer for the discrimination.
Many other claims of wrongful termination are based on the promises your employer made you. Many employees have contracts that control the relationship between employer and employee, and what each party is permitted to do. Others may be subject to the rules in “employee handbooks” that their employers use. In either case, these promises usually work both ways, limiting what an employee is allowed to do at work, but also limiting what an employer may do. Many workers are fired after seeking to enforce their rights under these contracts and agreements. If you were fired for requesting benefits, time off, or wages you were entitled to, you might have a case for wrongful termination.
Can Any Worker Sue for Wrongful Termination?
Often, your ability to sue for wrongful termination depends on the structure of the company you work for and your legal status with the company. Many of the federal antidiscrimination rules may not come into effect unless the company meets certain minimum requirements for number of employees. Other rights and duties of the employer are only required for certain classes of employee. When you work as an independent contractor, you are not necessarily entitled to the same protections as an employee. The same is true for part-time versus full-time employees, and contract employees versus “at-will” employees.
Independent contractors are not always “contractors” in the sense of construction or maintenance workers. Many office jobs, science or engineering positions, or creative consultants may be paid on a contract basis. This means, usually, that the person paying for your services is not your “boss,” and has little control over you, the method in which you work, the hours you work, or where you work. If you work as an independent contractor, you still might have a case. Rather than an employment lawsuit, your position as a contractor may entitle you to remedies for your client’s breach of contract.
There are many requirements, such as wages, break time, and time off, that employers must follow for full-time employees. These same rules do not always apply equally to part-time or half-time employees. Some employers may intentionally restrict the hours that their employees work to prevent them from attaining full-time status to avoid some of these rules. While these rules may affect day-to-day operations and your rights as an employee, they may not further limit your ability to sue for wrongful termination.
“At-will” employment refers to a situation where the employer may fire the employee and the employee may quit without notice and without cause. This kind of employment is incredibly flexible for both sides, but leaves little protection for either side. However, discrimination and breach of contract are still illegal. If you were fired due to discrimination, you might still have a case. Additionally, your employer created any “implied contracts,” they may be held to those promises. Though these cases may be more difficult, you might still be entitled to compensation.
Baltimore Employment Lawyer
If you were wrongly fired from your job, despite antidiscrimination rules or terms in your employment contract, you might be entitled to compensation. Talk to an employment lawyer today to find out whether you have a case and what remedies you might be entitled to. The Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey offers free consultations to new clients. Call 443-692-7685 today.
Columbia, MD 21046