What Connecticut Employees Need to Know About COVID-19

What is Wrongful Termination?

Jan 26 2021

Many people call us and say, “I was wrongfully terminated.” But what does that mean? And is it true? Was your termination wrongful? Think of wrongful termination like a big umbrella that covers lots of employment laws that are designed to protect employees. If your employer violated one of those laws by terminating you, your termination was, in fact, wrongful.

Let us not forget that to be actionable, a wrongful termination needs to be illegal. Unfortunately, if an employer is unfair but their action does not violate one of our state or federal laws designed to protect employees, their conduct is not illegal. Let’s dive deeper into what is illegal and, thus, constitutes wrongful termination.

Discrimination is illegal. Your employer cannot discriminate against you. You cannot be fired from your job because of discrimination. That means your employer cannot consider your race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry or disability in their decision to end your employment.

Retaliation is illegal. Your termination cannot be retaliatory. You cannot be terminated, or punished, for speaking out against or refusing to participate in unlawful discrimination, or other unlawful acts. Say for instance your boss asks you to approve vacation time for employees, except pregnant employees. You refuse and your boss terminates you. Your opposition to discrimination cannot motivate your employer’s decision to terminate you.

Public policy violations are illegal. You cannot be fired if you refuse to break the law. If your employer forces you to choose between keeping your job or breaking the law, that is illegal and a violation of federal and/or state public policy.

Breaching a contract is illegal. If your termination breaches a written or verbal contract, it is illegal. Employment contracts may list reasons why an employee can be terminated. If your employer terminates you for some other reason, that may be wrongful termination.

These cases can be tricky, and every case is different. Facts are critically important. If you think you were wrongfully terminated, give us a call to talk further and discuss your options.

Share this Post

Amanda DeMatteis

About the Author

Amanda DeMatteis

Amanda DeMatteis

Amanda DeMatteis represents employees in both state and federal courts in a wide variety of employment matters, including wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, retaliation, and hostile work environment. Learn More

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Let Us Review Your Case

We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Client Experiences

During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

Ethan Levin-Epstein represented me during a most painful and challenging crisis in my personal and professional life. Seeing me within 24 hours of being referred, his support and advocacy, wisdom and clarity not only resulted in a favorable negotiated outcome for me and for my family, but gave me peace of mind and the courage to recover. I am very grateful to have met Ethan and his team and would refer anyone in need to this haven. — C.L., Guilford, CT

You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

Proven Results & Personalized Attention When You Need It Most

American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Back to Top
(203) 815-1716