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When can you sue an employer for wrongful termination?

Although employment in Idaho is “work at will,” there are some exceptions. For example, you may have the legal standing to sue your employer for wrongful termination from your job. To better understand when to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, it’s important first to understand what wrongful termination is and what rights you have as an employee in Idaho.

What is wrongful termination?

When you are wrongfully terminated, your employer has fired you for an illegal reason. Many federal and state laws protect employees from being fired for specific reasons, such as race, religion, sex, or national origin.

Types of wrongful termination

Under employment law, there are two main types of wrongful termination, which are a breach of contract and violation of public policy.

Breach of contract occurs when an employer breaks the terms of an employment contract, such as by firing an employee without cause. Violation of public policy occurs when an employer terminates the employee for a reason that violates clear public policy, such as firing a worker who refuses to carry out an illegal act on behalf of the company or a supervisor.

In general, you can only sue for wrongful termination if you have an employment contract or if your firing violates public policy. However, if you don’t have an employment contract, and your firing doesn’t violate a public policy, then your firing is considered “at will,”. This means that your employer can fire you for any reason (or no reason at all).

When to file a wrongful termination lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or your state’s equivalent agency can take your complaints. You will be asked for evidence to substantiate your claim that your termination was wrongful. This can include performance reviews, witness statements, or documentation of discrimination.

After filing a complaint, the EEOC will investigate your claims and determine whether there is enough evidence to support them. If they find enough evidence, they may file a lawsuit on your behalf. Alternatively, they may give you a “right to sue” letter, which allows you to file your case in court.

Potential results of a wrongful termination case

Proving wrongful termination of employment will depend on the circumstances of your case. If your claim is successful, you may be awarded damages by the court. These damages can include back pay, front pay, reinstatement, and compensatory damages.