UNLAWFUL TERMINATION: Meaning & Legal Applications

Unlawful termination

Losing a job is something at least one person faces every day. You probably have been fired once, or at least you know a close friend or family. After losing a job and being disappointed, our first instinct is to look for another job. But only a few look into the fact that they were illegally fired. How do you know if you’ve been illegally fired? Are there wrongful termination laws that protect you as an employer from violating the unlawful termination checklist? Can you file a lawsuit against your employer due to wrongful termination? The answers to these questions and more will be in this article. Keep reading, cheers!

What Is It Called When You Are Illegally Fired?

When an employer fires an employee illegally, it is called wrongful or unlawful termination. Generally, unlawful termination is when an employer dismisses an employee in a way inconsistent with the terms of the contract or agreement. 

Termination of employment is not just subject to the employer’s discretion but is to be done per the law, contract, or agreement in place. A person must not be laid-off for unlawful reasons. 

In California, an employee can file an unlawful termination lawsuit on specific grounds and ask for wrongful termination settlements. Although California is an at-will employment state where an employer can dismiss or terminate an employee’s employment for no cause, the employee can still sue the employer if the termination is illegal.

What Is Wrongful Termination In New Jersey?

Unlawful or wrongful termination in New Jersey is a typical employment lawsuit filed in New Jersey. It is the illegal termination of an employee by an employer. 

The employees can sue the employers, and the employees can win the case if they have the right lawyers for unlawful termination. 

Can You Get Fired Without Reason In New Jersey?

 New Jersey is an at-will employment state like California; therefore, several faithful employees can be fired for no just cause. Most employers fire employees for reasons as flimsy as an employee working in the company for long such that the employee now receives high pay. 

Although an employee can be fired for no reason at all in New Jersey, an employee can file a wrongful termination lawsuit. They can do this based on unlawful termination reasons such as discrimination and retaliation.

What Are Examples Of Wrongful Termination?

When an employee is dismissed for not following the order of the employer to violate the law, this is wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Just as an employer has no right to fire an employee for refusing to violate the law, the employer also has no right to terminate an employee for exercising his right. 

For instance, an employee has grounds to file for a wrongful termination lawsuit where termination occurred due to the employee exercising the right to file for workers’ compensation insurance. 

An employee may also file a wrongful termination lawsuit if there is constructive termination. This means that even if an employee has not been fired, he can still sue the employer if the employer makes working conditions intolerable for the employee to frustrate the employee to quit. All examples of wrongful termination are embedded in a wrongful termination checklist. 

What is a Wrongful Termination Checklist?

A wrongful termination checklist is a process employers use to ensure that all states and federal laws are adhered to avoid a lawsuit by the employee. An employee unsure of whether or not they had an unlawful termination can request a copy of the wrongful termination checklist. They can also ask for wrong termination settlements.

Wrongful termination can also occur when an employee was terminated otherwise by state, federal, or local laws. It can also occur if the employment contract was violated or if the reason for termination goes against public policy. 

When the employee goes through the wrongful termination checklist and finds a question he can answer in affirmation; the employee can contact lawyers for unlawful termination. It is also advisable for the employer to seek legal counsel if they are being sued for violating the wrongful termination checklist.

What Laws Guide Against Unlawful Termination In New Jersey And California?

The Fair Employment and Housing Act denounce termination based on protected characteristics. These characteristics include race, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliations, disability, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, citizenship status, HIV/AIDS, and so on. 

The Labor code 1102. 5 LC is the primary protection law for whistleblowers in California; therefore, it is unlawful to terminate employment as a retaliation to an employee who reported the suspected violation of the employer’s law. 

Other vital laws protecting whistleblowers from unlawful termination are the Sarbanes Oxley act of 2002 and the qui tam section of the California false claims act.

How Do You Respond To Wrongful or Unlawful Termination?

The first thing you should do when faced with a wrongful or unlawful termination is to consult a wrongful termination lawyer or lawyers for unlawful termination. 

Lawyers for unlawful termination can adequately explain what constitutes a wrongful termination lawsuit. Consulting lawyers must know whether or not to file a lawsuit for unlawful termination. 

There are several lawyers for unlawful termination in New Jersey that you can contact. 

Can You Sue For Wrongful Termination In New Jersey?

The answer is yes. You could sue for wrongful termination in New Jersey if the termination was not following the state, federal or local laws. Also, you can file a wrongful termination lawsuit if it was not by the terms of the contract or if the termination is against public policy. 

An employee can sue the employer if the termination is based on discrimination or retaliation. Lawyers for unlawful termination should be consulted before filing a lawsuit. 

Recorded communications, eyewitness accounts, and company employment data can help prove wrongful termination. When an employee alleges to have been unlawfully terminated, wrongful termination settlements can be paid as a means to remedy wrongful termination. 

Wrongful termination settlements range between $5,000 and $80,000. The wrongful termination settlements are the amount agreed upon by the employer and the employee as payment to the employee for wrongful termination. Most employers and employees prefer wrongful termination settlements instead of going to trial.

Most wrongful termination issues are settled out of court between the employee and the employer. Instead, most cases are settled before going to trial. Because jury trials are unpredictable, wrongful termination settlements are often the best option for both parties.

One of the most difficult challenges for an employee terminated unlawfully is demonstrating convincing evidence that the employee was terminated for illegal reasons, such as race, gender, whistleblowing, or reporting harassment. Employers frequently respond by providing evidence of valid reasons for firing or terminating an employee’s contract, such as poor performance.

The employers seem always to have valid reasons to settle. In addition to the uncertainty of a trial, wrongful termination lawsuits can reveal potentially damaging information about a company even when employers successfully defend themselves. These lawsuits can also take longer and cost more than wrongful termination settlements.

What Other Factors Can Influence The Settlements for Wrongful Termination?

Some employees file claims that go beyond monetary compensation. Wrongful termination settlements agreements’ could include the reinstatement of the dismissed worker’s job, a promotion, or a change in working conditions.

When there is a discrimination culture at work, some wrongfully terminated employees may seek justice, validation for their claim, and closure. A settlement agreement may also include a demand for changes in company policy to prevent similar wrongdoing.

There are other reasons why the employees or employers might refuse the wrongful termination settlements in their case. Some employers who believe they have done nothing wrong may try to avoid settling to discourage future similar claims.


Unlawful termination is very common in New Jersey, California, and other parts of the world. According to statistics, experts believe that over 250,000 employees are wrongfully or unlawfully terminated every year. 

It is essential to know your employee’s rights and act when needed. The law protects not only the employer but also the employee. Therefore, employees can file for a wrongful termination lawsuit when they feel that they have been unlawfully terminated.

Unlawful Termination FAQs

Is consultation for unlawful termination expensive?

It depends on the lawyer you are contacting, but there are free consultations online. It is, however, advisable to be very careful in choosing a lawyer because skilled lawyers for unlawful termination have a high chance of winning the case of unlawful termination.

Is there a timeframe for suing for unlawful termination?

Yes, there is. Each state’s law in terms of timeframe differs, so you should ask your lawyer.

Is unlawful termination difficult to prove in court?

Unlawful termination can be challenging to prove in court if you do not have enough evidence or a skilled lawyer to advocate your case. Get skilled lawyers when filing for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Can I get my job back after winning a wrongful termination lawsuit?

You can sometimes get your job back after winning a wrongful termination lawsuit, but it is not inevitable.


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