Indiana is an “at-will” state. As such, your employer can dismiss you for whatever reason provided that such reason is legal. It also means that you can leave your job without necessarily giving reasons to your employer.
However, the at-will employment concept can also be abused by employers. If you believe your employer unlawfully terminated your contract, you may pursue them for the resulting damages through a wrongful termination claim. But what exactly does a wrongful termination look like?
Understanding wrongful termination
At the very basic, wrongful termination happens if you are discharged from your job for illegal reasons. Of course, an employer would hardly admit to firing you for an illegal reason. And this is where understanding what constitutes a wrongful termination comes in.
Here are two instances when you may have a wrongful termination case against your employer:
When the termination is discriminatory
Both state and federal laws prohibit employers from firing employees (or denying employment) based on their protected characteristics. These protected characteristics include color, race, age, gender, nationality of origin and religion among others. If you have evidence that you were dismissed because of any of these protected characteristics, you may have a strong case against your employer.
When the termination is based on retaliation
An employer cannot retaliate against you on any of the following grounds:
- Protesting against workplace discrimination (including suing for the same)
- Cooperating with investigators or testifying against them in court
- Reporting illegal or unethical activity to a government agency
If your employer fires you for doing any of the following, you may have a wrongful termination claim against them.
Asserting your rights
If you have been dismissed from your job, and you believe the termination was illegal, you deserve justice. Understanding applicable federal and Indiana employment laws can help you assert your rights if you are wrongfully dismissed.