Posted April 1, 2020
Two individuals were fired from a company in Louisville, Kentucky after complaining their employer was not following state guidelines pertaining to COVID-19. Now, the two are seeking justice in the form of monetary compensation for their wrongful termination.
As reported by WDRB.com: “Robbie Payne and Erica Shaw allege their concerns about sick employees and a lack of social distancing to the owner of Radio Communications Systems were “brushed off,” according to the lawsuit, filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court.”
While the verdict has yet to be established in this wrongful termination case, there is a strong likelihood this will not be the first type of suit that comes forward during the Coronavirus pandemic.
For many workers, the fear of being terminated during a global pandemic is just added stress, especially when you are concerned about your health and the health of others. But if you are terminated from your job, and you suspect it is a case of wrongful termination, what can be done?
How to Prove Wrongful Termination
There are four tests to prove wrongful termination took place. They are discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and breach of contract. To prove that wrongful termination occurred, you need to test if it was a case of one of those four aforementioned tests.
Under federal law, you are protected from being fired due to discrimination of age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion or sex.
To prove your wrongful termination was the result of discrimination, review this checklist:
- Verbal or written evidence of discrimination
- Circumstantial evidence of discrimination such as who was fired
- Employees are treated differently
- Has an official made discriminatory comments against one group or another?
Not only are you protected from discrimination, but you are also entitled to a fair and safe work environment. In some situations, wrongful termination may take place when harassment was occurring.
Harassment as a reason for wrongful termination in regards to your feelings may include employer’s comments that have created a hostile working environment that you have spoken out against.
Under the law, you cannot legally be fired or punished for reporting illegal behavior or safety violations or discrimination which has taken place. However, this does happen often.
To prove retaliation, consider the following:
- Had you recently reported violations?
- Following the report, did a negative interaction occur between you and a superior?
- Were you discouraged from pressing the matter further?
Breach of Contract
As an employee, certain rights are afforded to you in your employment contract. However, if you do not have a contract or your employer seems to change their mind on the verbal contract you agreed to, you may have a case of breach of contract.
Such ways to prove breach of contract occurred is that your employer had previously created termination guidelines which now, in your termination, have not been followed.
Wrongful Termination and COVID-19: The Takeaways
While there are many individuals looking to do good in our world right now as we come together to fight this global pandemic, there are many who will use it as an opportunity to take advantage of the system.
Many employees who will face wrongful termination in the coming months will be a result of discrimination and retaliation. Instead of handling concerns, many companies may just remove any obstacles they see.
If you believe you were terminated during COVID-19 based on discriminatory ways or retaliation for bringing concerns to company attention, you may have a wrongful termination case.
Right now, we have employment attorneys across the nation ready to tackle your case. Contact us today and we’ll get you started on this process.
Posted in Wrongful Termination.