Wrongful termination will occur when an employee is fired or laid off for an illegal reason. This can often fall under being let go or fired in a way that violates your employment contract, retaliation, discrimination, and other unlawful grounds.
In the state of Ohio, employers have broad discretion over their firing and hiring decisions. Ohio is an at-will employment state – meaning that a company or organization can let go of an employee for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it’s not illegal or in breach of “a written employment agreement or a collective bargaining agreement”
For example, an employer can terminate an employee based on a lack of good performance, but they cannot terminate someone because of their disability or age, among other reasons.
But should an employee suspect that they have been wrongfully terminated, they may have grounds to pursue legal action. And that brings us to the question of can sue for wrongful termination in Ohio.
It’s a common question and we explore the answer below.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Ohio?
The all-encompassing answer to this question is yes. You can sue for wrongful termination in Ohio, but wrongful termination must be alleged in an underlying legal claim, such as discrimination, retaliation, etc.
As previously mentioned, Ohio is an at-will employment state so not every reason that an employee may be terminated will fall resulting in a claim for wrongful (unlawful) termination. But the following are common reasons often associated with the wrongful termination of an employee:
- Discrimination: this happens when an employer fires an individual based on gender, race, age, disability, nationality, pregnancy, age, and other characteristics that are protected by Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, and other federal and state laws.
- Retaliation: this occurs when an employer fires an employee who has taken part in protected activities like whistleblowing or filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, consider speaking with a wrongful termination attorney as soon as you’re able to. They can help answer any questions you have as well as assist you with determining if your termination was actually unlawful.
When Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination?
Now that you know you are able to sue for wrongful termination, let’s look at when you can sue for wrongful termination.
Typically, before you get to the point where you can sue your employer, you will need to file an employment discrimination claim with the EEOC assuming that you want to pursue your claims under federal discrimination laws. This kind of claim will ask that the EEOC investigate the situation.
You can file a charge of employment discrimination online, in person at an EEOC office, or by mail – among other ways. We would encourage you to speak with an employment discrimination lawyer before filing a complaint with the EEOC. Discrimination attorneys can help guide you through the EEOC process.
From there, the EEOC will investigate. Upon the closing of their investigation, they will provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue. Once you receive that notice, you have 90 days to file a lawsuit.
Working with an employment discrimination attorney throughout this process can be helpful in ensuring that all deadlines are met.
What Else Should I Do Following a Wrongful Termination?
As previously mentioned, speaking with a wrongful termination attorney can be beneficial immediately following your wrongful termination. The employment lawyers at Coffman Legal, LLC can provide legal advice and take a closer look at your case to help determine if what occurred is wrongful termination before moving forward.
Other steps to take following a wrongful termination include:
- Write out your version of events so that you have as many details as possible in regard to the lead-up to the termination and the direct aftermath.
- Keep all forms of communication that are relevant to your termination including sticky notes, direct messages, emails, and more.
Keep things like evidence and your version of events at home or on non-work-related computers.
Chat With a Wrongful Termination Attorney
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should consult with the wrongful termination attorneys at Coffman Legal, LLC. With experience handling many wrongful termination claims, our team can offer legal consultation on your individual situation and work to determine the best approach moving forward.
We take an aggressive approach to each case as they come to us with the intent to fight for your rights as an employee.
Feel free to reach out to us over the phone at 614-949-1181 or online through our contact form.