Law Reports

Understanding Wrongful Termination Law

There is no getting around the fact that Arizona employment laws are generally quite friendly to employers when it comes to a question of wrongful termination. Many Arizona employment lawyers frequently recount the truism that an employee may be filed for a good reason or for no reason whatsoever, as long as he isn’t fired for a bad reason.

The bad reasons are what keep plaintiffs’ attorneys in business. Although every case is different and recently terminated employees should consult with an employment attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of their case, unlawful reasons for terminating an employee include termination decisions based on the race, sex, religion or age of the employee.

Arizona also has a statute prohibiting termination as retaliation for reporting a violation of an Arizona statute. There are many other similar state and federal laws that preclude termination in retaliation for an employee’s lawful reporting of the employer’s actual or suspected violation of the relevant law. These retaliation statutes may create liability where the employer wasn’t even guilty of the underlying offense, so employers should be very careful about making a decision to terminate an employee who has complained of or reported any sort of discrimination, safety violation, or other legal issue. Arizona employers who believe they need to fire such an employee should consult with an Arizona employment lawyer first.

Employees who believe they have valid wrongful termination claims should seek the advice of an Arizona employment attorney as soon as possible, because the statutes of limitation pertaining to both state and federal law violations are relatively short, and the failure to file a complaint in Court or with the appropriate administrative agency is usually fatal to a wrongfully terminated employee’s claim.

An Arizona employment lawyer will also be able to help the terminated employee understand his or her obligations and rights. Among other things, terminated employees must mitigate their damages by seeking replacement employment. Where an employer is liable, the employee will normally be entitled to recover lost wages and other damages directly related to the termination.

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