Utah Wrongful Termination

A form of employment discrimination, wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for unlawful reasons that violate an employment contract, public policy, or antidiscrimination laws defending the rights of employees belonging to a protected class. Although there are federal laws in place that set the basic standards for the equal treatment of employees in the workplace, every state’s laws against employment discrimination and wrongful termination are different. If you recently lost your job in Utah, and you believe your termination was based on an unlawful reason, contact an experienced Utah employment law attorney today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer, and a reputable attorney can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve.

Utah At-Will Employment and Protected Characteristics

In Utah, as in most states, employees work “at will,” which means they can generally be fired at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all. However, there are certain exceptions to Utah’s at-will employment doctrine which protect employees from being fired for discriminatory reasons. Under federal law, for example, it is illegal for an employer in Utah to fire an employee because of his membership in a protected class, which is a group of people with a shared characteristic that is protected by law. In Utah, the following are considered protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Age (over 40)
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Gender identity
  • Veteran status
  • Sexual orientation
  • National origin
  • Genetic information

Other Types of Wrongful Termination Laws in Utah

Discriminatory firing in Utah can take on many different forms. In addition to laws against firing an employee on the basis of his membership in a protected class, there are also antidiscrimination laws in place that protect the rights of employees who have an employment contract promising job security, and laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who participate in a protected activity.

  • Termination in violation of an employment contract: If you have a written, oral or implied employment contract promising you job security, you may not be considered an at-will employee, which means your employer may not be able to fire you without good cause, regardless of Utah’s classification as at-will employment state. If you have an employment contract and your employer fires you without good cause, you may have a legal claim for breach of contract.
  • Workplace retaliation and protected activities: It is also against the law for Utah employers to fire an employee in retaliation for participating in an activity that is protected by law, such as: opposing discriminatory practices in the workplace, filing a complaint for unpaid wages, refusing to take part in an illegal or wrongful act, taking time off work to fulfill certain personal or civic obligations, reporting illegal activity on the part of the employer (whistleblowing), filing a workers’ compensation claim, or participating in a discrimination investigation.

A Utah Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help

There are a number of state and federal laws in place that were created to ensure that all employees in Utah are treated fairly in the workplace, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Utah Antidiscrimination Act of 1965. Still, wrongful termination remains one of the most common employment law violations carried out by employers. If you believe you have been the victim of wrongful termination in Utah, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any damages incurred as a result of the termination, including lost wages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and other losses. Consult a skilled Utah wrongful termination lawyer as soon as possible to explore your possible compensation options.