What Are My Rights After Job Termination?

What Are My Rights After Job Termination

If you have been terminated from your job, you may have questions about your rights as an employee and whether or not your termination was conducted in a lawful manner. At Swartz Swidler, we can help you if you were the victim of a wrongful termination. Here is what you need to know.

Do employers have to give reasons for firing you?

Employers are not necessarily required to give you a reason for firing you. If you are an at-will employee, your company can fire you for any reason at any time unless its reason for doing so is a prohibited one. If you are not an at-will worker, your employer must tell you why you are being terminated.

Employers are not allowed to fire workers because they take medical, family or military leave or for serving on a jury. They also can’t fire workers for prohibited discriminatory reasons on the basis of race, gender, national origin, pregnancy, color, religion and other categories. Finally, your employer cannot fire you in order to retaliate against you for reporting the company’s violations of laws to the government or to a regulatory agency.

What can you do if your termination was unfair?

When you are dealing with your employer, it is important for you to accurately record the incidents that happen. If you have a written employment contract, it can serve as a strong piece of evidence if you are unfairly terminated. Some employees will have verbal or implied contracts with their employers based on the company’s prior history and the workers’ own prior positive performance reviews and promotions. Other unfair practices may include defamation or fraud that lead to an employee’s resignation from his or her job. Keeping accurate records can help you to prove your claim if you later need to file a case against your employer.

What rights do you have with receiving your final pay?

After you are fired, your employer must give you a final paycheck that includes all of the remaining compensation that it owes to you. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, your employer must give you this check by your next regularly scheduled pay date. You may also receive severance pay when you are terminated depending on the termination conditions. If you will, you will typically be provided with a severance pay offer in writing. You should also be able to access your vested 401(K) and any profit-sharing benefits that you have received.

What are your rights to continued health insurance coverage?

You may be eligible to continue your health insurance coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. This federal program allows you to continue your coverage at your own expense for up to 18 months. Employers who employ 20 or more employees have to provide coverage through COBRA.

What are your rights to unemployment after being terminated from a job?

You may be entitled to file for unemployment compensation if you are laid off or fired from your job. Unemployment compensation provides you with financial benefits for a set duration so that you can make up some of the income that you have lost. In order to be eligible, you must meet specified requirements. If your employer had a good reason for firing you such as theft or violence, you may not be eligible for compensation.

If you have been terminated from a job, you may face huge financial and professional setbacks. By understanding your rights and keeping careful records, you may be able to protect yourself. If you believe your firing may have been illegal, contact Swartz Swidler to learn about your rights after you have been terminated from a job.