South Carolina is an at-will employment state, which means that employers can fire employees at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. However, there are times when employers cannot fire their employees. If you have lost your job and you feel as though it was a wrongful termination due to one of the reasons below, an experienced wrongful termination lawyer at Beth Santilli Law, LLC can help.
Terminations Based on Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful for employers to fire employees for discriminatory reasons. Under the Act, there are certain protected classes that include people of a specific race, national origin, religion, age, gender, and more. These protections typically apply to employers that employ a minimum of 15 employees.
Terminations Based on Leave
Sometimes, an employee may take leave that an employer does not agree with, but that is still lawful. Employers are not allowed to fire employees for taking this leave.
For example, an employee may become injured on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim to compensate for their lost income because they are unable to work. This may cause the employer’s insurance premiums to increase. Or, an employee may take protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Due to the fact that the employer does not want to lose the employee for an extended period of time, they may fire them in retaliation for taking the leave, or even just for asking.
These actions taken by employers are illegal. When they occur, employees can hold their employer liable.
Terminations Based on Complaints
There are times when employees may file a complaint against their employer and are fired as a result. For example, a worker may file a complaint against their employer and another employee may take part in the investigation that ensues as a result. In this instance, neither employee can be fired, as employees have the right to file a complaint and to take part in any investigation that is part of that complaint.
Terminations Based on Hour and Wage Issues
South Carolina does not have its own laws regarding the wages employees must receive. As a result, all workers in the state are entitled to receive the federal minimum wage for any work performed, and they should also receive overtime pay when they work over 40 hours a week. When employers fail to provide employees proper compensation for work performed, an employee has the right to seek their proper wages. If they are fired as a result of doing so, they can hold their employer liable.
Breach of Contract
When an employment contract has been signed by both the employee and the employer, workers are no longer considered at-will employees. If the employee is then fired before the date specified in the contract, they can file a wrongful termination lawsuit against their employer. Additionally, an implied oral contract can also protect employees from wrongful termination.
Get Legal Help Today
No one should lose their job for reasons that are unlawful. If you have been fired from your job and believe the firing was illegal, a Mt. Pleasant wrongful termination lawyer at Beth Santilli Law, LLC, can help. Our attorneys know how to hold employers accountable when they wrongfully terminate employees, and we will put our experience to work for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation and receive the legal advice you need.