wrongful termination
A legal claim that an employee has been fired for an illegal reason, such as discrimination, breach of contract, or in violation of public policy. (See also: wrongful termination in violation of public policy)
Category: Employment Law & HR → Employee Rights
Category: Employment Law & HR → Human Resources

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

wrongful termination
n.
   a right of an employee to sue his/her employer for damages (loss of wage and "fringe" benefits, and, if against "public policy," for punitive damages). To bring such a suit the discharge of the employee must have been without "cause," and the employee a) had an express contract of continued employment or there was an "implied" contract based on the circumstances of his/her hiring or legitimate reasons to believe the employment would be permanent, b) there is a violation of statutory prohibitions against discrimination due to race, gender, sexual preference or age, or c) the discharge was contrary to "public policy" such as in retribution for exposing dishonest acts of the employer. An employee who believes he/she has been wrongfully terminated may bring an action (file a suit) for damages for discharge, as well as for breach of contract, but the court decisions have become increasingly strict in limiting an employee's grounds for suit.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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