Termination Laws in Arizona

termination laws in arizonaWhen you go to work at most places in Arizona, you do so under an “at will” contract. When an employee is “at will,” it means that their employer can terminate them for pretty much whatever reason they want. This may not seem fair, but there is little an employee can do – unless their employer broke Arizona law by firing them. If that is the case for you then you could very well bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against them.

If you are wondering if you have grounds for an Arizona wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer, you first need to speak with a qualified employment law attorney who can go over your entire case.

What Is Wrongful Termination In Arizona?

Today, we want to discuss a few different ways in which wrongful termination cases may arise. Remember, no two cases will be alike and you should always proceed with the help and advise of a skilled and experienced attorney.

Discrimination – It is not okay for an employer to fire someone based on discrimination. Both federal and state laws afford protections to people from being fired because of their:

  • Race and color
  • Nationality
  • Genetic information
  • Pregnancy status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability (physical or mental)
  • Religion or creed
  • Age (40 years or over)

Sexual Harassment – We have seen the “Me Too” movement usher in a new era of uncovering sexual harassment in the workplace. If a person is fired for standing up for themselves against sexual harassment, the employer should be held liable for their actions. We know that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature

Contract Violation – There may be cases in which an Arizona worker was hired under a contract agreement, whether as an employee or an independent contractor. The terms of this agreement should be upheld by both sides. If an employer terminates a contract before its expiration, they are costing a worker their rightful wages and benefits.

Workers’ Compensation – Employees have a right to compensation if they are injured while performing sanctioned work duties. Workers’ compensation insurance is available to cover their medical expenses as well as a portion of their income if they lose days of work. If an employer denies a worker their compensation claim or fires the worker to avoid having to make a claim, they should be held liable for their actions.

Whistleblowing – There are times when an employee uncovers or has participated in illegal activity for their employer and they wish to come forward to report it. This can include cases of tax fraud, poor working conditions, healthcare fraud, illegal dumping or hazardous materials, and more. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation under both federal and state law. In some cases, whistleblowers can even be eligible for financial compensation for their information they offer authorities.

Disciplinary Policies – Most companies have policies in place that outline measures they take to discipline employees before termination. This could include things like requiring a verbal warning and multiple written warnings before they can be terminated. If a company violates their own disciplinary policies, perhaps firing an employee after a single verbal warning, this could be ground for wrongful termination.

Moving Forward With An Arizona Wrongful Termination Case

Many wrongful termination lawsuits end in settlements between the person and their former employer. One thing is certain – you are likely to have a larger settlement if you pursue a wrongful termination case through an attorney. These cases can become incredibly complex and hard to understand for anyone outside of the legal profession.

You can work to secure the following:

  • Attorney fees and court costs
  • Backpay
  • Job recovery
  • Other compensatory damages

Click here for information on the new era of sexual harassment awareness.