Being fired is never a pleasant experience. A worker who is fired may, in addition to dealing with the financial repercussions, suffer from depression, self-doubt and fear about the future. Typically people are fired because they fail to adequately perform their duties or because they deliberately breach their company’s code of conduct. Other times, however, people are fired for reasons that are completely illegal, an action known as “wrongful termination.”
In 2015, Elizabeth Britt was hired as a dispatcher for a trucking company. Shortly after she was hired, a contract truck driver shouted verbally abusive and threatening statements at her. Britt reported the incident to management. No action was taken and she was fired soon after. For reasons that were not made clear, the truck driver was also fired. He, however, was shortly rehired.
Britt believed she was fired for engaging in whistleblower activity; in this case, whistleblowing refers to reporting a hostile work environment. Although most workers are employed at-will, which is a shorthand way of saying your employer can choose to fire you at any time for almost any reason, employers cannot fire or otherwise retaliate against employees who report hostile or unsafe working conditions.
For many people, jobs provide so much more than a paycheck. After pouring heart and soul and countless hours into a career, it can be devastating to find yourself let go for seemingly no reason. Worse is being fired for a reason that is patently illegal. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law and can inform you of your rights.
Source: JConline, “Ind. labor department sues trucking companies,” Taya Flores, July 15, 2015