Your job is not just something that allows you to pay your bills and put food on the table, it gives you a sense of who you are. When someone is terminated, it often affects all aspects of that individual’s life. The effect is often multiplied exponentially when that termination breaches a contract or violates the law.
“Wrongful termination” means that your employer has fired you illegally. Examples of wrongful termination include:
- Firing an employee in violation of an employment agreement or contract
- Firing an employee for reporting illegal behavior by the business
- Firing an employee for refusing to engage in illegal behavior on the job
- Firing an employee in retaliation for complaining that he or she is being subjected to some form of discrimination or sexual harassment
- Firing an employee in violation of anti-discrimination laws, including firing based on race or ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual preference
While Massachusetts is an employee-at-will state – meaning an employer can terminate any employee at any time, with or without notice – that termination must not be for any of the reasons listed above. Employees who believe they have suffered unlawful termination are entitled to a number of remedies if they successfully prove their claims, including compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement for certain incurred expenses. Remedies may also include reinstatement.
Sheff & Cook is proud to be an advocate for hard-working Massachusetts who have suffered retaliation in the form of wrongful termination. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, contact our team to discuss your options.
What is Retaliation?
State and federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report and challenge conduct believed to be illegal:
- Title VII and the Massachusetts Fair Employment Act prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports discrimination based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or national origin.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Massachusetts Fair Employment Act prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports or challenges discrimination based on disability or requests an accommodation related to their disability.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Massachusetts Fair Employment Act prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports or challenges discrimination based on age.
- The Family Medical Leave Act prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who seeks medical leave.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Massachusetts Wage Act prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who challenges unlawful wage practices, including the calculation of commissions, bonuses, tips or overtime.
An employee does need not to prove that the challenged conduct was actually unlawful to be entitled to anti-retaliation protection.
Sheff & Cook’s Approach
The versatile attorneys at Sheff & Cook have the experience you need, the knowledge you trust, and the reputation you deserve to help you with your wrongful termination claim. Our team of highly skilled attorneys has local, regional, and national reach and an impeccable reputation for client care. We have the ability to dedicate multiple attorneys, staff, and financial resources to individual cases. This unique team approach and positive financial commitment yields optimal results for our clients.