Wrongful termination can be a stressful situation to find yourself in. Mix in that you most likely have several different questions related to the situation and the aftermath of being wrongfully terminated can be frightening and confusing to deal with.
But one big question you are most likely going to find yourself asking is if there is any way to prove wrongful termination in Ohio.
Below, we explore how to prove wrongful termination in Ohio and we break down what exactly wrongful termination is as well.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. This is meant to be general information. Speak with an employment law attorney for specific legal advice tied to your situation.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Before we get right into how you can prove wrongful termination, we want to take a brief look at what exactly it is in the state of Ohio.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer has fired an employee and such termination is in breach (violation) of “an employment law or some public law.”
One important note is that Ohio is an at-will employment state. This means that Ohio employers or employees can terminate an employment relationship at any time that they would like to – for a specific reason or no reason at all.
This also means that Ohio employers generally have broad discretion over their firing and hiring practices. They can let an employee go for essentially any reason, even if that reason may not seem fair, wrong, or for a reason that we disagree with.
But there are a number of unlawful reasons that an employer might fire or terminate an employee. For example, employers are prohibited from firing an employee based on retaliatory reasons if the company falls under coverage from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Common reasons employees may face in wrongful termination situations include:
- Whistleblower action
- FMLA interference or retaliation
- Workers’ compensation retaliation
- Any breaches of an employment contract
If an employer did terminate or fire an employee for unlawful reasons or if they were in breach of an employment contract, the at-will law will not apply to the situation.
How To Prove Wrongful Termination in Ohio
With that understanding of wrongful termination, we can now look at how to prove wrongful termination in Ohio.
Because wrongful termination can be a complex situation, proving that you have been wrongfully terminated is going to be especially important. Here are a few steps to take following what you believe to be a wrongful termination situation.
- Collect any evidence that you think will support your wrongful termination claim. This evidence can include emails, direct messages, text messages, notes passed in the workplace, pictures, paperwork, and any other evidence that seems relevant.
- Keep copies of your evidence on your own personal computer or physical copies.
- Obtain a copy of your employment contract if you don’t already have one. This will be helpful in identifying if your employer was in breach of your contract.
- Seek legal counsel with a Columbus wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible. With the complexities of wrongful termination cases, it will be extremely helpful to have an experienced employment attorney on your side as you move forward with your case.
Another potential step you might take is filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This can be before or after you speak with an employment lawyer – and an employment lawyer can help you with filing as well.
Keep in mind that each situation where wrongful termination has potentially occurred is going to be different.
Take the time to review your situation and the associated evidence with the assistance of an experienced wrongful termination lawyer to determine if your case meets wrongful termination requirements.
Coffman Legal, LLC is a Columbus based law firm that specializes in employment law. With a team of experienced Columbus employment attorneys, their areas of expertise include discrimination, wage and hour, and employment law such as severance negotiation and wrongful termination. They work to represent employees both within Ohio and nationwide as needed and they are dedicated to fully understanding each clients’ individual needs.