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Wrongful Termination in New Mexico

Employees wrongfully fired from jobs experience lost wages and can be subject to discriminatory or retaliatory practices. Sometimes, unlawful terminations happen and employees are unaware that they have the legal right to challenge the dismissal. Workers wrongfully terminated in New Mexico are under protection by state and federal employment laws.

What is wrongful termination? Employees wrongfully terminated from jobs in NM lost employment for an illegal reason given by the employer. Wrongfully fired workers can seek financial restitution for lost wages and emotional trauma. If a claimant can prove wrongful dismissal, the former employer may be subject to the consequences of an unemployment lawsuit.

For more information about wrongful termination in New Mexico, read the following sections:

  • Types Of Illegal Termination in New Mexico
  • Types Of Legal Termination in New Mexico
  • At-Will Employment Exceptions in New Mexico
  • Filing a Discrimination Charge With The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New Mexico
  • Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in New Mexico

New Mexico Unemployment Resources

Types of Illegal Terminations in New Mexico

There are a few types of illegal terminations in New Mexico that are state law offenses while others are in violation of federal law. These types of unlawful terminations of employment are against the law because the government is attempting to ensure that all employees get an equal opportunity. Both state and federal types of illegal firings are grounds for former employees to press charges.

The types of illegal termination of employment against federal law are those based on discrimination. These types of illegal dismissal of employment based on discrimination include age, race, sex, military status, disability, nationality, religion or citizenship. Other types of unlawful terminations pertain to employers retaliating against employees for instances such as collecting worker’s compensation and filing a sexual harassment claim.

Types of Legal Termination in New Mexico

There are plenty of types of legal terminations in New Mexico that employers may use to fire employees within the confines of the law. Many types of legal dismissal of employment refer to the worker’s job performance. Legal reasons for terminating employees in New Mexico include consistent tardiness, conflicts with coworkers and stealing office supplies.

Other types of legal firing from employment include permanent closure of the business and company layoffs. Employees who experience these types of legal termination of employment do not have a valid claim for a lawsuit but may be able to collect unemployment benefits.

At-Will Employment Exceptions in New Mexico

In regards to what is employment at will, “at will” is a term used in employment legislation that means both the employer and employee have the legal right to terminate the working relationship for any reason and at any time. Is New Mexico an at will state? New Mexico has exceptions to at-will employment doctrine but does allow non-contractual employment.

There are three general exceptions to at-will employment in the United States, however not every state uses all three of these exceptions. The most recognized exception to at-will employment is the public policy exception, which states that employers cannot fire workers for if the termination is against public policy, like taking off work to attend jury duty.

Another exception to at-will employment is the implied contract exception, which dictates that an employer cannot fire employees if they had a written or implicit contractual relationship. The contract must promise job security unless the employee commits specific violations.

The last and least common exception to at-will employment is the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception, which prohibits employers from firing a worker without just cause. The practiced at will employment exceptions in New Mexico are the public policy and implied contract.

Filing a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New Mexico

Terminated workers can file a wrongful termination charge in New Mexico if their employer dismissed them from work for any illegal reasons. Employees who want to know how to file a charge of employment discrimination will need to submit a charge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The process of how to file an EEOC employment discrimination claim must occur within 180 days of the termination. Filing a charge of discrimination in New Mexico is available online through the EEOC website, in person at one of their local offices or by mail.

To file a wrongful termination charge in New Mexico, claimants will need to write a detailed statement. The EEOC will first try to meditate between the employer and former employee to de-escalate the situation. If mediation is ineffective, the EEOC will begin an investigation to ensure that the discrimination claim is valid. If the EEOC determines that the complaint is legitimate, the agency will file a wrongful termination charge on behalf of the employee or give the claimant permission to file a lawsuit against the former employer.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in New Mexico

Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination? To file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination, workers need to complete the EEOC discrimination process first and receive a Notice of Right to Sue. Suing for wrongful termination in New Mexico means a court of law will review the case, which requires claimants to determine a “cause of action” or the reason for filing.

Filing a wrongful termination claim against employers requires the claimant to present proof to back up the claim. Some claimants who file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination hire legal help from a lawyer to increase their chances of winning the case.

An attorney can explain how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit as well as assist in gathering evidence such as eyewitnesses, written statements and hiring documents from the employer. However, if you file a lawsuit against your employer in New Hampshire, you are not required to seek legal advice from a third party.

Last Updated: October 18, 2022