Was I wrongfully terminated?

You have just lost your job. Your employer fired you, but you wonder if it was legal. Wrongful termination can be a confusing topic because there are specific situations that dictate if a move is illegal or not. In some cases, it is simply the employer’s right to fire you whenever and for whatever reason. In some cases, though, firing you is breaking the law. So, it helps to get an idea of what is and is not wrongful termination in Arizona.

When a firing is legal

First, it helps to get an idea of what is not illegal when it comes to firing an employee. Most of the time, according to the Arizona State Legislature, your employment is such that you can quit at any time without reason or your employer can fire you at any time without reason. This is typically the case if you do not have a contract.

Of course, your employer may also fire you with a good reason. For example, if you were habitually late to work or you had discipline problems, then those are good reasons to let you go.

When a firing is illegal

What might make a situation illegal is when your employer’s motives have nothing to do with your work skills and are due to a protected aspect. For example, you have protection from losing a job solely due to being a certain race, religion or gender. Your employer cannot fire you because of your age if you are over the age of 40. These are federally protected classes.

Your employer also cannot fire you for reporting a safety problem to OSHA or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The law also protects you from firing for refusing to break the law in the course of your work.

Here are few other reasons why your employer cannot fire you:

  • Exercising your right to vote
  • Serving on a jury
  • Serving in the military

Your employer probably will not tell you that your firing was due to an illegal reason. You will have to gather evidence and prove your case against your employer.