Most employment relationships in New Jersey are “at-will”- meaning an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all. By the same token, an employee is free to quit at any time for any or no reason. However, there are a notable few exceptions to the at-will rule that could lead to a lawsuit based on wrongful termination in NJ.
This at-will doctrine has been enforced throughout the United States since early in our history, but over the years certain kinds of firings have been regarded as “contrary to public policy.” What this means is that the public’s interest is more important in some cases than the at-will doctrine. For example, your employer cannot fire you for refusing to commit a crime, or for failing to do something that would be dangerous to others. It also means you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey.
A wrongful termination attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit against your current or former employer. Some of the best wrongful termination lawyers in New Jersey at Garces, Gabler & LeBrocq can make this process as easy and straightforward as it can be.
An employee who believes they were wrongfully terminated because of filing a Worker’s Compensation claim must be able to show that they:
• Were an employee eligible for Worker’s Compensation
• Filed a claim or otherwise initiated the Workers’ Compensation process, or testified at a Workers’ Compensation hearing
• Were fired, threatened with firing, or otherwise acted against by the employer
• Were terminated because of initiating the Worker’s Compensation process
Exercising a legal right, such as filing a claim under the state workers’ compensation law, is a protected activity. Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for it. It is also illegal for an employer to advise an employee against filing a claim, because the employee might interpret the “advice” a threat. This is viewed as wrongful termination in NJ and is grounds for a legal action.
A person who believes they have a legitimate workers’ compensation claim and that their employer is attempting to prevent them from filing that claim should immediately contact a law firm of wrongful termination attorneys. With a successful claim, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, and other related expenses. It’s important to note that you can be terminated if a work injury prevents you from performing your job duties.
Unfortunately, this is different than being fired for filing a workers’ comp claim. Employers are permitted to let you go if you cannot handle the essential functions of the position. The law firm of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq houses a team of the best wrongful termination lawyers in New Jersey. We represent employees who have been wrongfully terminated after filing a workers’ compensation claim or testifying at a hearing.