New Jersey is at an at-will-employment state, which means you can be fired at any time, with or without cause. However, an employer cannot fire you for illegal or discriminatory reasons. If this has happened to you, it takes an experienced wrongful termination attorney to protect your rights.
At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, we are highly experienced in handling wrongful termination claims and know that being fired illegally can have lasting repercussions. When you consult with us, we will determine whether you have a viable claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. Despite the fact that you work in an at-will employment state, you have a right to earn a living. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to learn how we can help.
What is wrongful termination in New Jersey?
Employers are legally permitted to terminate workers for performance reasons, regardless of the accuracy of their assessment. At the same time, employers are not required to show just cause for dismissal. This gives employers free rein to take adverse employment actions against employees and allows them to make their discriminatory actions seem legitimate. However, a wrongful termination claim may arise under the following circumstances:
Wrongful Termination due to Discrimination
State and federal law prohibit employers from taking an adverse employment action (including termination) against employees on the basis of a legally protected characteristic, including:
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Military/veteran status
If you believe you were terminated for a discriminatory reason, it is wise to have an adept employment lawyer on your side. Proving wrongful termination can be challenging because employers know how to conceal their discriminatory motives and have an unfair advantage over employees. At Castronovo & McKinney, we have the skills and experience to level the playing field and will work tirelessly to protect your employment rights.
Employment Contracts/Implied Promises
If you were fired while working under the terms of a written contract that established a set period of time for your employment and/or conditions for your dismissal, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim based on breach of contract. Of course, not all employment contracts are written, but certain implied promises made by your employer may also be enforceable. Our wrongful termination attorneys will look to emails, employee handbooks, and other evidence of implied promises that support your claim.
Violations of Public Policy
You cannot be fired at will in New Jersey for exercising a legal right or performing a community service, such as voting, military service, or jury duty.
Employers cannot terminate employees for exercising a legal right, such as:
- Complaining about discrimination or harassment
- Reporting safety violations or unlawful conduct (whistleblowing)
- Participating in an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by an employer
If you were fired for whistleblower retaliaion or exercising your legal rights, you need an aggressive employment lawyer by your side.
Why Choose Castronovo & McKinney for Your Wrongful Termination Claim
When you consult with us, we will determine whether your termination was lawful and work to protect your rights. While the courts have the option of ordering an employer to reinstate an employee who has been wrongfully terminated, this may not be viable or desirable for either party.
Our experienced attorneys will help you explore other legal remedies and help you obtain compensation for your losses, including:
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Lost benefits (e.g. bonuses, health insurance)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Attorneys’ fees/legal costs
Above all, we will work to right this wrong, protect your right to earn a living, and fight for the financial resources you need to get back on your feet.
At the same time, we recognize that most employers don’t hire people with the intention of firing them. There are times when employers are justified in terminating employees, whether for performance reasons, reductions in force, or restructuring. If your business is facing a wrongful termination claim from a disgruntled employee, we will provide you with an aggressive defense strategy.
Ultimately, we prefer to resolve wrongful termination claims through negotiated settlements; however, we are fully prepared to litigate. Rest assured, we will always work in your best interests, in and out of the courtroom.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Whether you believe you were fired illegally or your business is facing a wrongful termination claim, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, the informed choice in New Jersey employment law. We will work to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether through negotiation, arbitration, or litigation. Contact our office today for a consultation.