When It is Illegal for Your Employer to Fire You

If you are like many employees, you might not be fully aware of your legal rights. So, you might be wondering when and what for what reasons you can be fired from your job. A lot of states follow at-will employment laws, which means your employer can fire you without reason. Keep in mind that although employers don’t often need to have a reason for terminating you, some reasons are protected by law. Terminating employment for any of these reasons can result in legal and financial liabilities. A Morristown employment lawyer can help you understand whether or not you have a wrongful termination case.  In New Jersey, employers cannot legally terminate an employee based on the following: 


As an employee, you are protected by federal programs against discrimination including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). No matter the kind of employment or contract agreement, you can’t be fire based on your age, religion, sex, disability, race, color, origin, and retaliation. 

Bad Faith

You cannot be terminated by your boss in bad faith. This might include firing you before retirement to avoid paying retirement benefits or before having to pay you a big commission fee. Also, you cannot be fired based on your compensation or for using company benefits regularly. Your employer should act in good faith and treat their employees fairly.

Implied Contract

An implied contract is typically an agreement by your employer not to terminate you from your job without good cause. Thus, even in at-will employment situations, your employer may not be able to fire you at will if an implied contract exists. An employee handbook and other documents you may have signed during the recruitment process may constitute an implied contract and supersede at-will policy. If an implied contract is in force and you have been terminated, you are eligible to file a wrongful termination claim.  

Actions of Public Policy

These actions include employees who refuse to do an illegal act, those who report a violation of the law, those who exercise statutory rights, and those who exercise some public policy rights. It is not legal for employers to terminate an employee for an action protected by a statute or their constitutional right. 

If you think you were wrongfully terminated, you must contact an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will assess the details of your case, including your contract or any kind of agreement present, and determine whether your rights were violated.