Wrongful Termination

This past weekend, I volunteered at the Nashville Pro Bono Clinic. While there, I met with multiple people who believed they had been wrongfully terminated.

Tennessee is an “at-will” employment state, which means companies can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, as long as the firing is not in violation of State or Federal discrimination laws. This means, that unless someone has a strong case that the firing was based on that person’s status as a member of a protected class, which includes: age, sex, race, national origin, pregnancy, genetic information, religion, sexual harassment, and retaliation, it will be very hard for an employee to win a wrongful termination suit.

As an attorney that handles employment law cases, I represent both individuals and companies in these type of cases. I encourage the companies I work with  to address the employment laws in their employee handbook, along with a written policy for discipline and termination. These steps, along with keeping good records, can help a company easily defend an unfounded wrongful discrimination suit from a disgruntled ex-employee.

For individuals, if they believe they were fired because of their status as a member of a protected class, they should contact a lawyer that handles employment law cases in Tennessee immediately, as there is a short time-frame to analyze and file a charge of discrimination.