A wrongful dismissal can ruin an employee’s professional career and financial situation. Workers wrongfully terminated in Rhode Island may have the option of pursuing legal action to repair the damages caused. A wrongfully fired employee should take the time to review employment laws to determine which one his or her former employer broke. Reviewing RI unlawful termination laws and pinpointing the cause of action for a lawsuit can help a wrongfully terminated employee to be successful when filing a claim.
Employees recently fired may ask, “What is a wrongful termination?” Wrongful termination in Rhode Island occurs when an employer fires a worker and justifies the dismissal with a reason that is unlawful. Employees wrongfully terminated from jobs have the option of filing a claim against their previous employer, if they have the proper evidence to back up their claim. For more information on how to handle being wrongfully fired from jobs, examine the following sections:
- Types of illegal termination in Rhode Island
- Types of legal termination in Rhode Island
- At-will employment exceptions in Rhode Island
- File a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Rhode Island
- File a lawsuit against your employer in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Unemployment Resources
Types of Illegal Termination in Rhode Island
When types of unlawful terminations occur, an employer has broken a federal or state law when firing a worker. Many types of illegal termination of employment in RI committed occur when an employer dismisses a worker based on discriminatory characteristics. Common types of illegal firing include termination because of an employee’s age, gender, ethnicity, religion or other characteristics.
Other types of illegal terminations in Rhode Island can also occur when an employer dismisses an employee because he or she has opened a legal claim against the company or is claiming certain benefits. These retaliatory types of illegal dismissal of employment include when an employer fires an employee for receiving worker’s compensation or for having an open sexual harassment claim against the company. When employees experience types of unlawful terminations from employment, they can claim this as their cause of action to pursue a lawsuit.
Types of Legal Termination in Rhode Island
Employers can use legal reasons for terminating employees in Rhode Island to end a working relationship without breaking a law. Certain types of legal termination of employment include firing a worker on grounds of poor job performance or when a binding contract ends. Other types of legal dismissal of employment in RI also include terminating a worker due to company closings or layoffs.
When one of the types of legal firing mentioned above occurs, an employee cannot file a claim against the former employer since they did not violate federal regulation or state law. These types of legal termination in Rhode Island are acceptable and employers can use them without the possibility of facing legal action.
At-Will Employment Exceptions in Rhode Island
Is Rhode Island an at will state? Almost all states in the U.S. practice the at-will employment law, including Rhode Island. There are exceptions to at-will employment that some states recognize as additions to the at-will employment law. Employees, who are dealing with wrongful termination may ask, “What is employment at will and does it affect my case?” The at-will employment law declares that employers and employees have the right to terminate their working relationship at any time, for any reason within the law. The exceptions to at-will employment are as follows:
- The covenant of good faith and fair dealing, making it illegal for employers to have malicious intent or use retaliation when firing an employee
- The implied-contract exception, disallowing employers to fire employees if an implied contract is in place
- The public-policy exception, prohibiting the dismissal of an employee if a public policy is violated during the action
Note: At will employment exceptions in Rhode Island do not exist, as the state does not recognize any of the above exceptions.
File a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Rhode Island
If you decide to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge against your former employer, you must submit a claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 calendar days of the suspected illegal firing. The process for how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge will end if you file the claim after the deadline, the agency decides the claim is not valid or the EEOC has no jurisdiction over the claim. However, after filing a charge of discrimination in Rhode Island, if the EEOC decides to investigate, it will attempt to settle the claim.
During the process for how to file a charge of employment discrimination, the EEOC may start a mediation program between you and your former employer to attempt settlement, which can take approximately three months to finish. If this program is unsuccessful or the parties are uncooperative, the agency may seek a voluntary settlement by your previous employer for you, which can be a 10-month process, if successful. After you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge and these attempts at a settlement cannot conclude to the satisfaction of all parties, the EEOC will grant you the Notice of Right to Sue your former employer.
File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Rhode Island
When you plan to file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination in RI, you cannot take action until the EEOC grants you the Notice of Right to Sue first. You may want to research how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit before starting the process to prepare for the courtroom. When suing for wrongful termination in Rhode Island, you have the responsibilities of claiming a certain cause of action and proving the incident was illegal by presenting organized evidence.
Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and win? If you plan on filing a wrongful termination claim against an employer, you may want to consider hiring an experienced lawyer to assist you with your case. Legal representation can help you file a lawsuit against your employer in Rhode Island with the best chances of recovering lost wages and prosecuting for emotional damages as well as your attorney’s legal fees.