“Wrongful termination” is a phrase people hear a lot. Even so, it’s misunderstood. Employees are often surprised to learn that not every termination that seems “wrong” is necessarily illegal. If you believe you have a wrongful termination claim, contact the Toledo wrongful termination lawyers at Bolek Besser Glesius LLC to learn about your rights.
The wrongful termination lawyers at Bolek Besser Glesius have more than 50 years’ collective experience representing employees with employment-law claims. If you work in or near “The Glass City” and think you have a wrongful termination case, contact us today.
What is evidence of wrongful termination?
Ohio is an at-will employment state. Generally, employers can fire employees for even an unfair reason, provided it is not a reason already prohibited by law.
Both Ohio and federal law have lots of exceptions to this “at-will” rule that might give rise to a wrongful termination claim. For example, employers may not discriminate against employees based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or military status. Ohio and federal law also bar employers from retaliating against employees for making good faith complaints of discrimination or harassment. Along the same lines, the law also protects whistleblower employees who report suspected workplace safety issues or fraudulent conduct.
So how are employees to know whether they have a wrongful termination claim? A few of the more common signs include:
- When the employer gives shifting reasons for termination, either verbally or in writing.
- The employer claims poor performance, but recently gave the employee a positive performance review or a raise.
- The employer treated other employees more favorably than the fired employee under similar circumstances, and the other employees are outside the protected class.
- The timing of termination is suspicious, coming soon after the employee complained of discrimination or requested medical leave.
- Decisionmakers made discriminatory or stereotyping comments close in time to the termination.
- Anything else suggesting the true reason for termination is different than what the employer claims.
Evidence of discrimination or retaliation comes in many forms. Figuring out whether an employee has a claim for wrongful termination is a fact-specific question. And it requires the help of an experienced Toledo wrongful termination lawyer.
What damages are available for wrongful termination?
An employee who wins a wrongful termination claim can recover several types of damages. They include:
- Lost wages and benefits. Employees can recover not only backpay, but in some cases can get future wage loss as well. They can also recover the value of lost employee benefits.
- Emotional distress damages. More commonly known as “pain and suffering,” these are designed to make the employee whole for the noneconomic and emotional harm that often comes with losing one’s job because of discrimination or retaliation. Although both Federal and Ohio law impose caps on the amount of emotional distress damages an employee can recover, it is not unheard of for these awards to reach six figures in serious cases.
- Punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish employers for their wrongful conduct and to deter employers from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Though the law also limits these damages, in egregious cases, punitive damage jury verdicts can be very large.
- Attorney fees and costs of suit. Successful plaintiffs can often recover their attorneys’ fees.
It goes without saying that not all wrongful termination cases are successful. These cases are very difficult to win. Without the help of skilled lawyers, employees might find themselves unable to protect their rights.
Lawyers for Toledo wrongful termination cases
Bolek Besser Glesius has experience representing Toledo employees in wrongful termination cases. We have helped Toledo-area employees in a variety of situations:
- Representing a Toledo-area manufacturing supervisor fired under the company attendance policy because she needed leave to care for her sick husband. We brought a case on her behalf under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and ultimately resolved her case.
- Suing in Toledo federal court on behalf of a maintenance worker at a Northwest Ohio Fortune 500 who was fired for missing work due to his ongoing medical problems. In a case under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Ohio law, we settled the case after extensive discovery that included depositions in multiple states.
- A collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Ohio law on behalf of Pepsi workers denied overtime pay.
- A disability discrimination case brought on behalf of a manager of a major Toledo glass manufacturer fired after he disclosed his health condition.
If you believe you have a wrongful termination case, the employment lawyers at Bolek Besser Glesius LLC might be able to help.
Fighting for Toledo workers
Every potential discrimination or retaliation case is different. And some terminations that seem unfair might not violate any Ohio or federal law. To figure out whether you have a claim, you should contact the Toledo wrongful termination lawyers at Bolek Besser Glesius LLC.