Businesses and organizations in Connecticut have wide discretion to make their own personnel decisions. Connecticut is an at-will employment state—meaning the relationship between employers and employees is fully voluntary. That being said, there are limits on what employers can do. Your boss cannot fire you for an illegal reason. In this article, our Hartford wrongful termination lawyers highlight three reasons why your employer cannot fire you in Connecticut.
- The Termination is Motivated By Discrimination
State and federal labor regulations protect workers against discriminatory practices in the workplace. You cannot be fired—or otherwise treated less favorably than similarly situated co-workers—because of a protected characteristic. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, and other state/federal statutes prohibit several different types of workplace discrimination, including:
- Race discrimination;
- National origin discrimination;
- Gender discrimination;
- Sex discrimination;
- Sexual orientation discrimination;
- Pregnancy discrimination; and
- Disability discrimination.
Proving discriminatory animus after a termination can sometimes be challenging. Most employers have a general awareness of the law—few openly admit to discriminating while terminating an employee. If you believe that were fired for discriminatory reasons, it is crucial that your case is comprehensively investigated by an experienced wrongful termination lawyer.
- You are Facing Retaliation for Exercising a Protected Right
Workplace rights only exist to the extent that they can actually be exercised by employees. An employer in Connecticut cannot terminate a worker because they engaged in a protected right under state or federal law. To do so is retaliation—and it is one of the most common bases cited in employment law claims. Some examples of cases that may constitute wrongful termination on the grounds of retaliation include:
- Firing an employee for reporting a workplace safety violation to authorities;
- Firing a worker for complaining about sexual harassment within the company; and
- Terminating an employee who came forward to support another employee’s discrimination complaint.
Once again, employers are often not eager to admit that they are engaged in unlawful retaliation against an employee. They may come up with pretextual reasoning to try to justify the employee’s removal. All retaliation allegations require a comprehensive investigation,
- You Have a Valid Employment Agreement (Breach of Contract)
Employment agreements are legally binding contracts. While Connecticut is an at-will employment jurisdiction, a court will uphold the terms of a legally valid employment agreement between two parties. If your employer fires you in violation of the terms of your employment agreement, you may have a viable wrongful termination claim on the grounds of breach of contract. An experienced Connecticut wrongful termination lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.
Contact Our Connecticut Wrongful Termination Lawyers for Confidential Legal Guidance
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, we are proud to fight for the rights and interests of individual workers. If you were wrongfully fired, our Connecticut employment lawyers are standing by, ready to help. Call us now or contact us online for a strictly private review and assessment of your case. From our legal offices in Hartford and New Haven, we represent workers throughout Connecticut.