What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in Arizona?
Losing a job can be a traumatic, life-changing experience. It can also feel unfair. Unless you have an employment agreement or work in a union state, you’re at the mercy of your employer in some ways. In those “right-to-work” states, an employer can fire you for seemingly any reason. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, the first step is to determine whether or not your employer’s actions were actually illegal.
People often believe that being fired without a reason is a good case for wrongful termination, but this is completely legal. Legal reasons for termination can include poor performance, the company running out of money, and even no reason at all.
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How to sue your employer for wrongful termination in Arizona
The first step is to ensure that all of your bases are covered on the legal end. You may have a civil claim against the employer. There are a number of steps that you might practically take to get the lawsuit process underway.
First, you’ll want to take notes on your employer’s reasons for firing you. If you have a file, you may ask to see it. It is unlikely that the employer will say anything incriminating, but you can at least figure out which nominal reasons the company has for terminating your employment. This will help you down the road.
Before you can file a lawsuit in Arizona for wrongful termination, you have to make a claim with the appropriate employment agency. In the case of Arizona, you’ll need to first file your complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. You can file your complaint either online or in person in Phoenix. In many cases, the Attorney General’s Office will file your complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If not, you may need to file your own complaint with the EEOC if you’re claiming violations of federal law. After those steps are completed, you’ll be ready to go forward with a direct lawsuit against the employer.
We want you to get the compensation you deserve. The best action you can take, if you’re still unsure about the legality of your termination, is to call us for a consultation. We’ll work towards the compensation of all lost wages, reinstatement of your health benefits, and even reclassification of your wrongful termination as voluntary resignation.
Arizona’s “at will” Employment Policy
Some states, including Arizona, have an “at will” employment policy which gives employers the right to terminate employees for any reason as long as it follows the law.
Most company’s notify employees of the “at will” policy in the employee contract, handbook, or in the job application itself.
Disabled Citizens Protected from Wrongful Termination
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled employees from being fired as long as they can reasonably perform the necessary job requirements. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, as long as these accommodations do not impose “undue hardship” on the business.
Undue hardship, for the business, is an action the employer takes which warrants costly expenses or inhibits the business in any extreme way. When determining undue hardship the businesses size, worth, and day to day operations are taken into account.
Being Fired Illegally
Below are the most common cases for illegal termination that you may have experienced.
Discrimination – being wrongfully terminated because of your race, religion, sex, age, or disability.
Whistle-blowing – being terminated for informing the company of an Arizona workplace violation they’re committing.
Collecting Workers Compensation – getting injured on the job, attempting to collect compensation, and being terminated before you’re able to collect.
How to write a dispute letter for wrongful termination
As you research your options, you’ll often see references to so-called “dispute letters” that might be filed on your behalf. The dispute letter should address the supposed reasons for termination, along with the company’s polices for termination. For instance, if the company claims that it is terminating you because you were late for work too many times, then the dispute letter should detail and dispute the instances that the company is raising. The most important part of a dispute letter is for you to suggest that you are still unaware of why you are being terminated. This lays the groundwork for a potential lawsuit, in which you will claim that your termination was not for legitimate reasons, but rather, because of your immutable characteristics.
What to do After a Wrongful Termination
If you believe that you’ve been fired as the result of employment discrimination or an employment contract breach, you should discuss your concerns with a dedicated member of JacksonWhite’s employment law team. Our attorneys can discuss your concerns and review your employment contract and will give you the experienced legal guidance you need to succeed.