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Wrongful Termination Claim


A wrongful termination claim is a legal complaint lodged by an employee against their employer, alleging that the termination of their employment was unlawful or unjust. The claim could be based on various grounds such as discrimination, breach of employment contract, or violation of labor laws. The employee usually seeks compensation or reinstatement in their job through this claim.


‘Wrongful Termination Claim’ in phonetics is: /ˈrɔːŋfəl tɜːrˈmɪneɪʃn kleɪm/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Understanding the Grounds: Wrongful termination claim primarily hinges on the notion that an employee’s termination has violated a statute or contract. This can include cases of discrimination, retaliation for whistleblowing, and breach of employment contracts.
  2. Collecting Crucial Evidence: In cases of wrongful termination, it’s pivotal for the terminated employee to gather as much evidence as possible supporting their claim. This can include emails, witness statements, or evidences of disparate treatment.
  3. Legal Assistance is Beneficial: Since wrongful termination claims can be complex, it’s often advisable to engage legal counsel. An experienced employment lawyer can help navigate the specifics of state laws, file a lawsuit if necessary, and maximize the potential damages awarded.



A Wrongful Termination Claim is an essential business/finance term because it is directly associated with the legal rights of employees. This claim comes into play when an employee asserts that they have been unlawfully fired or laid off from their job. Recognizing this term is crucial for businesses as it adds to their understanding of the employment laws and the risks of potential legal repercussions associated with workplace decisions. If proven, a wrongful termination can result in serious penalties for a company, including financial liabilities and damage to its reputation; thus, the term is significant in the context of both fiscal stability and company standing. It also underscores the need to follow structured and lawful procedures while dealing with issues related to employee termination, thereby leading to better business practices.


A wrongful termination claim serves as a protective mechanism for employees to confront and seek remediation for unjust terminations from their jobs. This function is critically important because it helps create more accountability in the employment landscape—employers who obviate due processes, violate employment terms or engage in discriminatory firings may face severe penalties if the termination is proven to be wrongful. The primary aim here is to maintain a fair and impartial job market where employment decisions aren’t made on the grounds of unlawful bias or discrimination.Secondly, a wrongful termination claim can be a potent tool for employees to achieve compensation for the losses they suffer due to an unfair dismissal. This scope extends beyond just salary and may cover various aspects like emotional distress, loss of professional reputation, and other job-related perks. When an employer terminates an employee unjustly, the individual can use a wrongful termination claim to recover damages, therefore, creating a leeway for financial and emotional recovery. This usage discourages unlawful practices in workplaces, allowing employees to work without fear of wrongful dismissal.


1. “Jewel v.” Case – In 2018, an employee named Anthony Jewel filed a wrongful termination claim against the e-commerce company Jewel claimed that he was unjustly terminated and discriminated against due to his military status, which is protected under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The lawsuit eventually reached a settlement in 2019.2. “Siri vs. Apple Inc.” – In November 2019, a former Apple employee named Darren Eastman filed a suit against the tech giant alleging wrongful termination. Eastman was fired after he raised concerns about the safety of one of the company’s products. He argued that his termination was retaliation for his whistleblowing, which is protected by law.3. “Ellerth vs. Burlington Industries” – In 1998, a landmark wrongful termination case took place between Kimberly Ellerth and her former employer Burlington Industries. Ellerth alleged that she faced constant sexual harassment from her boss, which culminated in her deciding to resign. Although she was not terminated, the Supreme Court ruled that her decision to quit due to an unbearable work environment constituted a constructive discharge, which is a type of wrongful termination.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Wrongful Termination Claim?

A Wrongful Termination claim is a legal complaint filed by an employee who believes they’ve been unlawfully dismissed from their job. This might involve violations of federal or state anti-discrimination laws, the employer failing to follow their own termination procedures, or dismissal in retaliation for the employee asserting their legal rights, among other things.

What constitutes as Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination can include a variety of scenarios such as termination based on discrimination, termination as a form of retaliation, termination in violation of oral and written employment agreements, and termination for refusing to commit an illegal act.

How do I file a Wrongful Termination Claim?

You should first consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. They can guide you through the process of filing your claim. Typically it involves submitting a charge or complaint to a government agency, like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the U.S., who will then investigate the claim.

How can a Wrongful Termination Claim affect a company financially?

If a company is found guilty of wrongful termination, they may be required to pay damages to the former employee. This can include lost wages, punitive damages, and possibly attorney’s fees. On top of this, a company may face reputational damage that can indirectly affect its financial status.

Can a Wrongful Termination Claim be filed against any business?

Yes, a wrongful termination claim can be filed against any business, regardless of its size. However, the procedures and protections can vary depending on the federal and state laws, as well as the terms of employment.

Is there a time limit for filing a Wrongful Termination Claim?

Yes, there are statutes of limitations to lodging wrongful termination claims. These time frames vary depending on the jurisdiction and the basis of the wrongful termination claim. It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the termination.

How can a business protect itself from Wrongful Termination Claims?

Businesses can mitigate the risk of wrongful termination claims by clearly documenting all employment issues, ensuring they comply with all federal and state employment laws, implementing and enforcing fair employment practices, and treating all employees consistently.

What evidence is needed for a Wrongful Termination Claim?

Evidence might include emails, witness testimony, employment contracts, or any relevant documents that can prove the termination was illegal. The type of evidence needed will depend on the specifics of your claim.

Related Finance Terms

  • Employment Law
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Constructive Discharge
  • Discrimination laws

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