Have You Been Wrongfully Terminated? New Jersey Employment Lawyers Can Help
Despite New Jersey’s status as an employment-at-will state, you may still have a wrongful termination case if your dismissal meets one of the two exceptions. If your employment was terminated for a prohibited or illegal reason, you may be entitled to compensation.
New Jersey is an employment-at-will state, which means that any business may hire or fire employees as they see fit, just as employees may leave a job if they choose to without consequences. However, there are still causes for termination that are not permitted and can be cause for a lawsuit. Two major exceptions are in place with regard to the employment-at-will law. One exception has to do with contracts and the other is public policy. If you were let go for one of these prohibited reasons, you have the right to sue your employer for wrongful termination and compensation for lost wages. We will discuss both of those prohibited causes for dismissal here.
Contracts and Implied Contract Exception to Employment-at-Will
If your employer gave you a written contract of employment with a specific duration of employment or which stipulated grounds upon which you may be fired, and you were let go in a manner not in alignment with this contract, you can sue for wrongful employment termination due to breach of contract.
Your employment contract may not stipulate a specific duration of employment, however there are common guidelines set forth regarding hours, pay, benefits and absences. Some employment contracts are more of a verbal nature and terms and expectations are general implications deduced from situations witnessed on the job.
Employee handbooks are a common source for the exception based on implied contract. Employee handbooks usually set out guidelines for attendance, promotion and other employment factors including termination. Some also state that termination or discipline of an employee will only be for “just cause”. This statement can serve as implied contract requiring cause for dismissal and effectively exempt an employer from the employment-at-will protections.
Breach of good faith is similar to implied contract. Only eleven states provide protection against all breaches of good faith, and though New Jersey is not one of them, some cases have been successfully pursued here. One example is the employee with a clean record who is dismissed after many years on the job, just as they are nearing pension benefits or retirement age. Despite no explicit protections stipulated, the circumstances are suspect and could be cause for a wrongful termination case.
Public Policy Exception to Employment-at-Will
In addition to workers’ compensation and FMLA, public policy includes protection for any employee who is fired for refusal to break laws upon request by the employer. New Jersey employees always have the right to refuse partaking in any fraud or lawbreaking mandated by the company without fear of termination. Whistleblower laws protect you if you speak out about discrimination, harassment or illegal or fraudulent activity at your company. Nor can an employee be fired for reporting harassment or discrimination inflicted on them by their employer, or for refusal to take part in such actions.
New Jersey Wrongful Termination Attorneys
If you believe your employment termination meets one of the exceptions outlined above, you may have the right to sue for compensation for lost wages. These can be tough cases to pursue, which is why you’ll want experienced litigators on your side, guiding you through the process. Call us at 1(877) 375-9599 or message us here for a free initial consultation. We will listen to the details of your complaint and help you assess if you do indeed have a case. If you wish to proceed, we will initial all filings and unleash our team of investigators on your behalf.
Our mission is to get the best outcome for you. The fastest outcome is a negotiation, and may indeed be the most desirable in order to simply close this chapter and move forward with your life. However, we are not afraid to go to court. We are the best of the best when it comes to jury trials, as our record of past success demonstrates. We are here to fight for you! Contact us today to see if we can work together.