Many people vent about anything and everything on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. If you're venting about the incompetent colleague you're stuck on a project with or mocking your employer, however, you could find yourself unemployed. Even if you're sharing good news, like a new product your company is going to be rolling out, you could be violating corporate policies.
The idea of workers engaging in organized protests or picketing, walk-outs or other types of coordinated activities aimed at calling attention to societal or workplace injustices isn't new. Individuals have been engaging in these types of actions for generations. Even still, many workers are reticent to participate in such activities out of fear that they'll lose their job. Federal law protects a worker's right to strike lawfully.
Losing your job suddenly can bring a huge amount of chaos into your life, and you may now have worries regarding how you will be able to continue paying rent or keep up with your mortgage payments. You may also have concerns about being able to afford basic living expenses in the weeks or months to come.
It can create a significant economic hardship if you're fired. A loss of a job can make it hard for a worker to find future employment. You should realize that not all terminations are lawful though. If you've been fired from your job due to retaliation or discrimination, for example, then you may have fallen victim to wrongful termination. While it may not be easy to file a lawsuit in such instances as an at-will employee, it's not completely out of question.
Many employers are skilled at terminating an employee without giving them a clear-cut reason for their dismissal. Not only can this lead to confusion on your end, but it also makes it difficult to determine if your legal rights have been violated.
It doesn't matter if you saw the writing on the wall or your termination caught you off guard, you should understand that you have legal rights as an employee. After you have been fired, you need to protect those rights, as you may learn that you could be owed some form of compensation.
There could come a point in your career when you receive the dreaded termination letter, phone call or email from your employer. It doesn't matter if you were expecting it or not, it stings just the same.
One of the reasons that wrongful termination cases can get so complicated is that employers are well aware of the reasons they can and cannot fire their employees. When they decide to violate an employee's rights and fire them over something that should not warrant it, they may attempt to hide it from the very beginning. It can be difficult to prove that's what they're doing.
Certain federal laws exist that can land an employer in hot water if they violate them. Many of these pieces of legislation prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Not all employers are required to abide by these pieces of legislation though.
New Jersey, much like other states in the country, upholds an employment-at-will doctrine. This means that employees have a right to quit their job for any reason and at any point in time. It works the other way around too. Employers in at-will states can terminate an employee without giving them any advance notice or having to explain their actions.