Massachusetts Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that violate an employment contract, public policy, or state or federal antidiscrimination laws. Though there are federal laws in place that prohibit employers from firing an employee for reasons that are considered unlawful, every state’s laws on wrongful termination are different. If you live in Massachusetts, and you recently lost your job, you may be wondering if you have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. Your termination from employment may be considered unlawful if it was based on discriminatory reasons, violated an employment contract, or was in retaliation for exercising your rights as an employee. Consult a reputable Massachusetts wrongful termination lawyer today to explore your possible compensation options.

At-Will Employment and Discrimination in Massachusetts

Like most states, Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, which means an employer may terminate an employment relationship, i.e. fire an employee, at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all, unless a law or contract says otherwise. Under state and federal antidiscrimination laws, for example, it is illegal for an employer in Massachusetts to fire an employee on the basis of a protected characteristic, or a personal trait shared by a group of people that is protected by law. In Massachusetts, under state and federal antidiscrimination laws, the following are considered protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Genetic information
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Military status
  • Citizenship status
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status

Other Types of Wrongful Termination in MA

In addition to laws prohibiting an employer from firing an employee because of his membership in a protected class, it is also illegal for an employer to terminate an employment relationship in Massachusetts in violation of an employment contract, or in retaliation for an employee exercising his rights. If you have a written, oral or implied employment contract promising you job security, you may not be considered an at-will employee, and your employer may not be able to fire you without good cause. Similarly, under Massachusetts law, an employee may file a lawsuit against his employer if he believes he has been wrongfully terminated from a job in retaliation for a certain protected activity, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim, reporting illegal activity on the part of the employer, participating in a discrimination investigation, or complaining about unpaid wages.

Contact a Massachusetts Wrongful Termination Lawyer Today

Despite state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, wrongful termination remains one of the most common employment law violations carried out by employers in Massachusetts and across the United States. If you believe you have been the victim of wrongful termination in Massachusetts, contact a knowledgeable Massachusetts employment law attorney today for legal help. With a qualified lawyer on your side, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for losses associated with your wrongful termination, including lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, punitive damages designed to punish the employer for wrongdoing, and attorney’s fees and costs.