Employees wrongfully fired from jobs may need to review employment laws and procedures before considering suing their former employer. Before taking legal action on wrongful dismissal, it is important for employees to learn their rights and prepare to file a claim.
Unlawful termination is possible to pursue in a court of law for compensation or reversal of the dismissal. Employees who feel they suffered a wrongful termination in Tennessee will need to identify the law broken by their employer and provide evidence.
What is a wrongful termination? An employee wrongfully fired experienced a termination from their position due to a reason that is discriminatory or retaliatory. Wrongfully terminated employees will need to learn the steps to filing a claim if they desire compensation and justice.
To learn what to do after being wrongfully terminated from jobs, review the sections below:
- Types Of Illegal Termination in Tennessee
- Types Of Legal Termination in Tennessee
- At-Will Employment Exceptions in Tennessee
- Filing a Discrimination Charge With The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Tennessee
- Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Tennessee
Tennessee Unemployment Resources
Types of Illegal Termination in Tennessee
When employers commit any of the types of unlawful terminations in TN, they have violated either federal or state laws by dismissing the worker from employment. Employers violate one of these types of illegal termination of employment when they let a worker go with ill intent or as an act of retaliation.
For example, retaliatory types of illegal dismissal of employment occur when an employer fires an employee who has an open legal claim against the company, such as a wage compliance complaint or a sexual harassment claim.
Furthermore, other types of illegal terminations in Tennessee also include firing a worker based on characteristics of gender, disability, religion, veteran status, ethnicity or age. These types of unlawful terminations from employment are discriminatory, unethical and break federal employment laws. If one of these types of illegal firing occurs, the employee has grounds to initiate legal action, as this is the cause of action.
Types of Legal Termination in Tennessee
Employers have legal reasons for terminating employees in Tennessee, which make the employee ineligible to file a claim for unlawful termination. These types of legal termination of employment are ethical, lawful and rational reasons for the firing, including:
- When an employee demonstrates poor job performance.
- The end date of the worker’s contract transpires.
Additional types of legal dismissal of employment can occur when a company administers employee layoffs or the business ceases to exist. If one of these types of legal termination in Tennessee takes place, the worker is ineligible to file a claim or take legal action against the company but may be able to seek unemployment benefits.
At-Will Employment Exceptions in Tennessee
Is Tennessee an at will state? There are some at will employment exceptions in Tennessee that the state recognizes and follows, but the state does still observe the at-will employment law. Exceptions to at-will employment in the state simply enhance the law and protect the rights of employees, ensuring all dismissals are lawful, moral and fair.
Employees dealing with a potential unlawful termination may wonder, “What is employment at will?” The at-will employment law enforces that either party can terminate the working relationship between an employer and employee, allowing their professional association to end at any time they see fit if the termination is legal.
The at-will employment exceptions in Tennessee are the implied-contract exception, which makes it illegal for an employer to let an employee go if a written or verbal contract is in place, and the public policy exception, which only allows employers to terminate employees if a public policy is not broken in the process.
The exceptions to at-will employment not observed in Tennessee include the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception, which protects employees by forcing their employers to always act fairly and with good intentions for their workers’ well being.
Filing a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Tennessee
Filing a charge of discrimination in Tennessee in person is available at the Nashville district office for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident. When researching the process for how to file a charge of employment discrimination, you will find there are several possible outcomes after submitting the claim.
After you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, the EEOC will determine if your case is valid and needs investigation or if a factor deems it ineligible. If investigated, you and your former employer may need to complete a mediation program within the EEOC to settle the issue without going to court.
If this is unsuccessful, the EEOC will attempt a voluntary settlement, which takes around ten months for successful completion, so your employer can offer you suitable compensation for your illegal firing. If during the process of how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge the agency is unable to settle the claim by both mediation and voluntary settlement attempts, the EEOC may grant you a Notice of Right to Sue your employer through the court system.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Tennessee
Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination? If you want to file a lawsuit against your employer in Tennessee, the EEOC must grant you the Notice of Right to Sue first. During the process of how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, you will find that you must prove your claim of illegal firing through evidence, such as testimonials from witnesses at your former job and documentation of interactions with co-workers and superiors.
When employees file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination, they may be seeking compensation or a reversal of the dismissal. Filing a wrongful termination claim against employers with the assistance of an experienced lawyer is more likely to lead to a successful outcome. If you plan on suing for wrongful termination in Tennessee and need help gathering evidence to prove your claim, an attorney can help you present your case to the court.
Last Updated: October 18, 2022