To prevent employees from being wrongfully terminated in Wisconsin, state and federal employment laws establish guidelines in which employers can fire employees legally. However, wrongful dismissals still occur in the state, leaving employees financially and professionally devastated. Unlawful termination in Wisconsin can leave employees feeling unfairly treated and financially devastated. Workers wrongfully terminated from jobs may feel the need to pursue legal consequences against their former employer and seek reparations for lost wages.
What is a wrongful termination? Wrongfully fired employees experienced loss of work due to an illegal reason, usually involving discrimination or an ill-intended and irrational motive by an employer. After suffering from wrongful termination in Wisconsin, an employee has a cause of action to file a claim against the offending employer with the goal of compensation or reversal of the termination. To learn how to handle being wrongfully fired from jobs and the options for legal action, review the sections below:
- Types of illegal termination in Wisconsin
- Types of legal termination in Wisconsin
- At-will employment exceptions in Wisconsin
- File a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Wisconsin
- File a lawsuit against your employer in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Unemployment Resources
Types of Illegal Termination in Wisconsin
The types of unlawful terminations in WI enforced by the state and federal government prevent employees from acts of discrimination or retaliation by their employers. When employers commit these types of unlawful terminations from employment, the affected worker has the right to pursue a claim against the company. Discriminatory types of illegal dismissal of employment occur when an employer fires an employee based on gender, age (over 40 years old), religion, veteran status, mental or physical disability or ethnicity. Retaliatory types of illegal termination of employment happen when an employer dismisses a worker who filed a legal complaint against the company, or the employee is receiving worker’s compensation or other monetary benefits. When employers use these types of illegal firing, the employee has experienced a wrongful dismissal from employment. Employees who experience one of these types of illegal terminations in Wisconsin can use the motivator of the termination as the “cause of action” to pursue a lawsuit.
Types of Legal Termination in Wisconsin
Reviewing the types of legal termination of employment is important for recently terminated employees to confirm if a law was broken. There are legal reasons for terminating employees in Wisconsin that would make them ineligible to pursue legal action against their previous employer. These types of legal firing in WI include dismissing an employee based on poor job performance or when an employment contract ends. Other types of legal dismissal of employment include when an employer has to terminate workers because of company layoffs or business closings. These types of legal termination in Wisconsin do not break any laws, so employees who experienced these dismissals cannot seek compensation from former employers.
At-Will Employment Exceptions in Wisconsin
What is employment at will? At-will employment is a federal policy followed by almost all states in the nation that declares the working relationship between an employer and employee to be “at-will,” allowing either party to terminate the association at any time, for any legal reason. Exceptions to at-will employment enhance the law by protecting employees from unlawful termination.
Is Wisconsin an at will state? Wisconsin practices the at-will employment law, but there are at will employment exceptions in Wisconsin. These include the public-policy exception that prevents employers to terminate employees if it is against public policy and the implied-contract exception that prohibits the firing of employees when an implied contract is active, even if it is not in writing.
Note: The only exceptions to at-will employment not observed in Wisconsin include the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception, declaring employers should act in good faith and fairness with all employees.
File a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Wisconsin
The process for how to file a charge of employment discrimination in Wisconsin begins by submitting a claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Milwaukee district office. Employees filing a charge of discrimination in Wisconsin need to start the process within 180 days of the occurrence to prevent claim denial for missing deadlines from the EEOC. You can file a wrongful termination discrimination charge by phone, mail or in-person. There is also a helpful EEOC online assessment that allows you to analyze the validity of your claim through an online program before officially filing.
After you follow the process for how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge, there are several actions that the agency may take. The EEOC may decide to enroll you and your former employer in a mediation program to agree on compensation and settle the dispute quickly. This process takes about three months to complete if a conclusion can be made successfully.
The EEOC may also decide to go straight to attempting a voluntary settlement between both parties by negotiating with your former employer for your compensation. If neither of these settlement strategies are successful after filing a charge of discrimination in Wisconsin, the EEOC may grant you the Notice of Right to Sue your previous employer.
File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Wisconsin
Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination? You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination if you have already received the Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC and feel you have proper evidence to prove your claim. When suing for wrongful termination in Wisconsin, you are responsible for presenting witness testimonials, employment records, documentation and paycheck stubs that support your claim.
To file a lawsuit against your employer in Wisconsin, you must first have a defined cause of action for suing your former employer and proof of wrongful termination. Filing a wrongful termination claim against an employer can be difficult without the help of a lawyer. The process for how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit can be easier to successfully pursue with the assistance of an employment law attorney.