What You Need to Know About a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Were you wrongfully terminated by your employer?
If so, you may have a valid legal claim. You count on your job to keep a roof over your head and pay your living expenses. You might have a family who’s counting on your income.
In order to bring forth a successful wrongful termination suit, understanding the basic elements of a claim and the steps you need to take, as well as working with an experienced Connecticut wrongful termination lawyer, are recommended.
At Stanger Stanfield Law, LLC, our wrongful termination lawyers are available to help you navigate your wrongful termination suit – call us today at (860) 561-0651 or send us an online message for more information, free of charge.
Understanding CT Wrongful Termination
In Connecticut, an employer cannot terminate an employee if the termination violates state or federal law. If you are a contracted employee, you cannot be terminated for any cause that violates the terms of your employment contract.
What Traits and Characteristics Are Protected by Law?
Connecticut is what’s known as an at-will employment state.
This means that employers generally have the right to terminate employees without cause. However, employers cannot discriminate, and they cannot violate the law in their decisions to hire and fire employees.
Federal law provides protection against discrimination for several traits and characteristics. Connecticut law goes even further, providing employee protections not afforded under federal law.
No CT employer can discriminate against you for your:
- Religion or creed,
- National origin,
- Familial status,
- Disability status (physical, mental, or emotional),
- Gender identity or expression,
- Sexual orientation,
- Military veteran status,
- Marital or civil union status,
- Ancestry, or
- Genetic traits.
You also cannot be terminated because conditions within the workplace pose a hazard to your reproductive system.
Determining whether you were fired for an unjust cause can be difficult. Discussing the details of your situation with an experienced employment attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid CT wrongful termination suit.
How to File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in Connecticut
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job, talking to a lawyer can help you understand your options for pursuing a claim.
If you believe your employer is discriminating against you, or that you might be wrongfully fired, you can prepare for legal action by gathering relevant information and evidence.
Keep detailed notes of conversations and comments you believe are relevant. Gather contact information from coworkers who might have witnessed unfair or discriminatory treatment from your supervisor or manager.
Other documentation that could prove beneficial to your claim includes your:
- Employee handbook,
- Employment contract,
- Performance evaluations,
- Personnel file, and
- Termination notice.
The appropriate way to approach your legal claim will depend on the details of your case. Additionally, the Connecticut statute of limitations imposes different limitations on the period during which you must file a lawsuit.
Talking to a wrongful termination lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and the best approach for pursuing justice.
Do You Have a Wrongful Termination Suit?
The first step in considering whether to bring forth a CT wrongful termination suit is working with an attorney. They can help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim.
Many people who are discharged without cause may mistakenly think that the discharge means they have a wrongful termination case. But this is not necessarily true; an at-will employee may lawfully be discharged at any point in their employment.
However, there are some exceptions to this. An at-will employee cannot be discharged in retaliation for exercising one of their protected rights.
Examples of protected rights include:
- Exercising the right to vote;
- Serving on jury duty;
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim;
- Reporting discrimination;
- Reporting an unsafe work condition; or
- Acting as a whistleblower.
You may also have a Connecticut wrongful termination suit if you are a contract employee and you have been terminated despite a provision in your contract that prohibits such termination.
Proving Your Wrongful Termination Case
Once your attorney establishes that you have a wrongful termination suit, the next step is proving your case.
This will include interacting with your (former) employer, talking to “witnesses,” such as co-workers and other managers, creating a timeline of events and interactions with your employer, and reviewing relevant policies and laws.
You should ask your employer why they terminated you. In addition, you should ask to record the conversation or get a written and signed statement from your employer explaining the termination. You should also ask your employer for a copy of your personnel file.
This may include information about warnings you received, complaints filed against you, and any other information relevant to your case.
Bring Forth Your Complaint
Before you jump straight to filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination against your employer, you should file a complaint with the appropriate agency.
If you believe the wrongful termination in Connecticut was based on discrimination or retaliation for exercising one of your protected rights, you can file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) or with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
How Can a Connecticut Wrongful Termination Lawyer Help?
Even if it’s obvious to you that your employer broke the law by terminating you, you must be able to provide persuasive evidence to support your claim. Documenting a wrongful termination claim can pose a number of challenges. However, an experienced Connecticut employment attorney understands this complex area of the law.
At Stanger Stanfield Law, our wrongful termination lawyers will fight for you and your legal rights.
We have handled numerous wrongful termination lawsuit cases in the past.
We are familiar with the process and best practices for succeeding in your claim.