Most employees invest significant time and energy in their careers. They strive to excel and contribute to their company environment while climbing the employment ladder. So, what happens when an employee’s dedication results in a sudden and unjust employment termination? If your employer fired you in violation of your employee contract, for discriminatory reasons, in retaliation for adhering to public policy, or for asking for guaranteed time off, it could be a wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination in Arizona is a pressing issue affecting countless employees, leaving them grappling with questions about their rights, legal remedies, and how to protect their livelihoods. In the Grand Canyon State, where the sunsets are breathtaking, and opportunities flourish in diverse industries, it is imperative to understand what constitutes an unlawful firing to protect against it. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful termination and how to identify it if it happens to you.
What Is Wrongful Termination in Arizona?
In Arizona, like many states, the doctrine of at-will employment prevails. This doctrine means employers have the discretion to terminate employees at any time for any reason that is not illegal or prohibited by law. However, this does not mean employers have free rein to disregard an employee’s fundamental rights. Therefore, wrongful termination in Arizona occurs when an employer unlawfully dismisses an employee in violation of their legal protections.
What Are Some Common Reasons for Wrongful Termination Claims?
In Arizona, wrongful termination involves numerous unlawful acts that can lead to legal claims. Each of the following circumstances is an example of behavior that represents a violation of an employee’s fundamental rights and could lead to a potential lawsuit.
- Public policy violations. Employers cannot terminate employees for engaging in activities that align with clear public policy mandates, such as voting in state or national elections, serving on a jury, or fulfilling military service obligations.;
- Retaliation. The federal Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) and the state Arizona Employment Protection Act (AEPA) explicitly forbid employers from terminating employees who exercise their legal rights or report law violations, including filing whistleblower claims, cooperating in investigations against the employer, reporting workplace discrimination, raising concerns about unsafe working conditions, addressing wage and hour violations, voicing grievances related to sexual harassment, or seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
- Discrimination. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Arizona civil rights laws, it is illegal to terminate employment based on factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin, pregnancy, or genetic information.
- Employment contract breaches. Employment contracts, whether formally written, orally established, or implied through consistent practices, establish a framework of specific rights and expectations for employers and employees. Wrongful termination occurs when the termination fails to align with these established criteria.
- Taking time off. Firing eligible Arizona employees who need to take time off from work to fulfill personal responsibilities, such as caring for a newborn or recovering from a medical condition, is illegal under the Arizona Fair Wages and Health Families Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
These are just a few examples of unlawful firings. If your employer terminated you unlawfully, the experienced wrongful termination lawyers at Shields Petitti & Zoldan have the expertise to help you fight for your rights, address your employer’s wrongdoing, and pave the way for a brighter future.
Shields Petitti & Zoldan PLC Will Fight For You
If your employer terminated you wrongfully, you know how frustrating and stressful it can be. Unfortunately, these cases can be challenging to prove, leaving you feeling helpless. That’s why it’s critical to have a skilled wrongful termination law firm on your side.
At Shields Petitti & Zoldan, our compassionate Arizona wrongful termination advocates have over 50 years of combined experience assisting clients with employment-related cases. With this kind of experience under our belts, you can rest assured knowing we’ll handle your wrongful termination claim with the care and diligence your case deserves. Call us today for a consultation, and let us fight for a just resolution.