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Wrongful termination in Alabama occurs when an employer illegally fires an employee from a job. Wrongfully terminated employees may decide to file a claim against an employer if they feel they were unfairly let go.
Learning what is a wrongful termination in AL is important for claimants before starting the claim process.

Wrongful dismissal by an employer can cause a worker financial and emotional strife. Employees who have experienced unlawful termination should review their rights before starting a case. Employees wrongfully fired from jobs in Alabama may choose to seek action against an ex-employer.

Furthermore, those wrongfully terminated from jobs have state laws that were established to protect them, which are important to review. For more information on how to handle being wrongfully fired in AL, examine the sections below:

Alabama Unemployment Resources

Types of Illegal Termination in Alabama

There are many types of illegal terminations in Alabama that break national equal employment laws. These types of illegal termination of employment include discrimination against race, age, sex, and color.

Additionally, AL types of unlawful terminations from employment include firing workers based on ethnicity, religion, nationality, veteran status or disability. If one of these types of unlawful terminations applies to your case, you may have pinpointed a cause of action to file a lawsuit against your previous employer.

The aforementioned types of illegal dismissal of employment are against the law and can be challenged. The established types of illegal firing in AL are determined by the federal government, and any wrongdoing on the part of the employer can be addressed when an employee files a lawsuit.

There are types of legal termination in Alabama that may seem unfair to employees but which are not against the law and, therefore, cannot be pursued. Some types of legal dismissal of employment include poor performance by an employee and the end of a contract.

Types of legal termination of employment in AL may also include employee layoffs due to downsizing or the closing of a business. The laws for layoffs and business closings may be different, depending on the industry and size of the company.

Reviewing the legal reasons for terminating employees in Alabama can help a worker to determine if there is a valid wrongful termination case that can be pursued. For the greatest chance of success, the various types of legal firings must be reviewed before a terminated employee takes steps to sue an ex-employer.

At-will Employment Exceptions in Alabama

What is employment at will? At-will employment is a federal policy adopted by all states in the nation acknowledging that the employer and the employee enter into a working arrangement “at will” – and can thus end the arrangement “at will.” “Is Alabama an at-will state?” is a common question among residents, and the state is considered to be one. However, there are two at will employment exceptions in Alabama, which are observed with the rights of employees in mind.

The following exceptions to at-will employment exist within the state:

  • The implied-contract exception, which does not allow an employer to fire an employee if there is an implied contract in place, even if it is not in writing.
  • The covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception, which generally encourages both parties to obey contracts in good faith and deal with each other fairly.

Note: Alabama does not follow the public-policy at-will exception, which does not allow a worker to be fired if the termination violates public policy.

Filing a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Alabama

Terminated employees who need to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge can do so with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Filing a charge of discrimination in Alabama must be done within 180 days of termination, or 300 days for an age discrimination case.

Learning how to file a charge of employment discrimination in AL is important for workers who want to pursue a case. A discriminatory termination charge may be filed with the EEOC in person at a local office, by phone, by mail or through an online inquiry. The process for how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge must be reviewed by all employees who feel they may have been wrongfully terminated.

If you want to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, the EEOC will first determine if a mediation program is right for your case. A successful mediation can close the case after approximately three months. In any case, the EEOC will inform you whether the case will be investigated or closed due to lack of discrimination.

After filing a charge of discrimination in Alabama, the EEOC will reach out to you and your ex-employer for questioning, which will need to be completed within 20 days. An employer who is uncooperative may be subpoenaed. If a settlement cannot be reached, or if the EEOC cannot determine that a law has been broken, you will be given the right to sue your previous employer in a court of law.

However, a lawsuit cannot be filed until after a charge has been filed and the right to sue has been granted by the EEOC. If a voluntary settlement is pursued, it takes an average of 10 months to settle through the EEOC.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Alabama

The process to file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination requires you to obtain the Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC. When suing for wrongful termination in Alabama, it is your task as the employee to prove that you were wrongfully fired due to discrimination.

As such, if you are wondering how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit in AL, you will need to gather evidence (such as paystubs and written testimonials) that proves your former employer’s unlawful action and gives you cause of action.

Also, if you are asking, “How can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and give myself the best chance to win?” consult with a lawyer. Filing a wrongful termination claim against employers can be a difficult process, but it is made easier with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Last Updated: October 18, 2022