Being fired can trigger pain and frustration, especially if you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated. You may also feel vulnerable because it seems your employer has all the power. It can feel like you have lost control over your life and livelihood.
At The Vaughn Law Firm, we want to help you understand your rights and the legal options available if your employer has wrongfully terminated your employment. Will you be able to get your job back after a wrongful termination? It is a question our legal team gets asked quite frequently. However, the answer may depend on the situation.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer illegally fires an employee. The definition seems black and white. However, wrongful termination cases can be complicated. Washington, D.C. subscribes to the concept of at-will employment. In an at-will employment arrangement, an employee is free to resign at any time and for any reason, even no reason. However, employers have the same leeway. An employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason or no reason.
Yet, laws exist to prevent an employer from firing an employee for an illegal reason. Illegal reasons to terminate employment include:
- Retaliation for filing a complaint
- As punishment for attempting to organize a union
- Breach of contract
- Employees who take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
- Discrimination based on an employee belonging to a protected class
It is not uncommon for employees to be fired based on discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from firing an employee based on race, gender, age, religious beliefs, disability, pregnancy, national origin, or veteran status.
Illegally terminated employees may be able to sue their former employer for wrongful termination and seek damages for their losses.
Can I Get My Job Back After Wrongful Termination?
In some cases, it may be possible to get your job back after a wrongful termination. You may be able to get your job back by filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer. In addition to seeking damages, you may be able to seek reinstatement. For example, employees illegally fired for taking FMLA leave may be reinstated to their original position after a wrongful termination.
Although it may be possible to get your job back, courts are hesitant to order reinstatement in wrongful termination cases. Unfortunately, accepting a wrongfully terminated employee back into the fold can have consequences. Some employers will act in bad faith and create a relatively negative environment for the employee when they return. Courts are more likely to award monetary relief like back pay or lost benefits.
You may also want to consider your mental health. Do you want to be reinstated with an organization that has treated you poorly or discriminated against you? Being fired can be an emotionally overwhelming event. Living in constant fear that it may happen again may not be the type of environment you want to be a part of for the long haul.
Seek Advice from an Experienced Federal Employment Lawyer
Do you believe you are the victim of wrongful termination? Seek the advice of a skilled employment lawyer. At The Vaughn Law Firm, our Washington, D.C., legal team has 16 years of experience handling federal and private sector employment cases. We understand how vital your job is to you and your family. We will fight to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
For a free and confidential consultation, contact our office online or call 877-615-9495 today.