There are few things more stressful than unexpectedly losing a job. A termination can put a serious financial strain on an employee and their family. Employers should not make firing decisions lightly. With this in mind, you may be wondering: Can an employer in Connecticut fire you for no reason? Technically, the answer is “yes”—but an employer cannot fire you for an illegal reason. In this blog post, our wrongful termination attorney explains the most important things to know about your rights if you were fired in Connecticut.
Background: Connecticut is an At-Will Employment State
Connecticut operates under an at-will employment standard. Unless there is a contract stating otherwise, the relationship between an employer and employee is presumed to be fully voluntary, without a defined duration. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) describes at-will employment as a legal standard that allows a business or organization to “terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one.”
Federal and State Laws Prevent Illegal Terminations in Connecticut.
While Connecticut’s at-will employment standard gives employers considerable authority to fire workers, there are important laws in place that protect the rights of employees. An employer in Connecticut cannot fire a worker for an illegal reason. An illegal firing (wrongful termination) is one that violates a federal or state statute. Some examples of wrongful termination include:
- Retaliation; and
- Breach of employment contract
Three Steps to Take If You Suspect You Were Fired Illegally
For workers, wrongful termination claims can be challenging. Although there are some exceptions, employers in Connecticut are broadly aware of the law. They typically do not outright admit that they are firing a worker for an illegal reason. Instead, an employer that wrongfully fires a worker is far more likely to construct pretextual (false) reasoning to justify the termination. Here are three steps to take if you believe that you were wrongfully fired in Connecticut:
- Save Everything: Document as much as possible. Write down exactly what happened, what you were told, and preserve any relevant evidence that suggests the termination was illegal.
- Be Proactive: Do not wait too long to initiate the legal claims process. There are strict statutory deadlines for wrongful termination cases in Connecticut.
- Contact an Attorney: An experienced Connecticut wrongful termination attorney will be able to review your case, answer questions, and help you determine the best way to get justice.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Connecticut Wrongful Termination Lawyer
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut wrongful termination attorneys are skilled, effective employee rights advocates. If you or your family member was fired for an illegal reason, we can help. Contact us online to set up your private consultation. We serve clients in Connecticut and Massachusetts.