People in New Jersey might lose their jobs for many different reasons. Since most employees work at will, employers might fire them for any reason as long as it is not discriminatory. Some employees are terminated because of predictable reasons while others might be fired for no reason at all. In many cases, terminations that are initiated by employers happen after a series of disciplinary steps for performance issues. In those cases, employees are on notice that they are in danger of being fired from their jobs long before they are terminated. Some terminations come without warning, and others are initiated by the employees instead of the employers. In some cases, termination might be illegal if it is based on a discriminatory purpose. An employment lawyer at Swartz Swidler can review what happened and explain whether or not your termination might have been wrongful.
Termination from employment happens when an employer or employee ends the employment relationship at a specific company. It can be involuntary or voluntary. When the employer initiates the termination of an employee’s job, it is normally involuntary. However, there are some situations in which the employer and employee mutually agree to end the employment relationship.
Voluntary termination occurs when an employee decides to quit his or her job. People choose to resign for many different reasons. You might have found a new job that pays more or have a spouse who has accepted a position in a new city. Some people quit their jobs to go back to school or to retire.
Some people quit their jobs for negative reasons. For example, if you do not get along with your boss or co-workers or do not see any opportunity to advance your career, you might decide to resign. Most employers strive to retain good employees to prevent high turnover rates. Training new employees takes time, and many will not be fully up to speed with their jobs for months. Companies with negative workplace environments may have high turnover rates, which increases the costs of operating the business and reduces productivity.
An employee is involuntarily terminated when he or she is fired by the employer. Normally, involuntary terminations occur when the employer is dissatisfied with the employee’s performance. They can also happen when the company is struggling financially and has to downsize its workforce through layoffs.
There are many reasons why people might be involuntarily terminated from their jobs, including performance issues, attendance problems, social issues, or offensive behavior. In other cases, involuntary terminations might occur because of mergers, corporate relocations, acquisitions, and job redundancies.
In the case of performance issues, the employer might have tried to resolve them with mentoring to try to help the employee to improve his or her performance. Employers might place their employees on performance improvement plans with specific steps they need to take to improve. Being placed on a performance improvement plan at your job should prompt you to start looking for a new position elsewhere. This type of plan is normally an employer’s last attempt to communicate the types of improvements that need to occur. It also is used by employers to document that they tried to salvage the employment relationship in case the employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company after being fired.
Factors affecting employment termination
There are several factors that relate to involuntary terminations of employment. Some of these are briefly described below.
Employment at will
Most employees work at will. This means that your employer can fire you for any reason and at any time whether or not good cause to do so exists. Unless you have an employment contract that states otherwise, your employer will not have to tell you why you are being fired.
However, employers are not allowed to fire employees based on their protected characteristics. When an employer terminates an employee because of his membership in a protected group, it is illegal discrimination and can form the basis of a wrongful termination claim. Some employers will try to blame terminations on other factors instead of the underlying discriminatory reasons that led to them.
Termination for cause
In some cases, an employee might be terminated for cause. When this happens, the reason for the termination will be stated in a termination letter and at the termination meeting. You can be terminated for cause for many different reasons, including the following:
- Stealing from your employer
- Violating the code of conduct at your company
- Threatening violence or engaging in violence
- Being insubordinate to a supervisor
- Harassing your co-workers or customers
- Watching pornography at work
- Using drugs or drinking on the job
In some cases, employers and employees recognize that they simply are not a good fit. They mutually agree to terminate the employment relationship in a way that doesn’t make either party responsible for the termination. This type of termination is referred to as agreeing on an exit strategy. Both parties benefit since the employer doesn’t want the employee, and the employee doesn’t want the job.
Talk to the employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler
If you believe that your former employer wrongfully terminated you from your job, you might want to talk to the attorneys at Swartz Swidler. We can review the legal merits of your potential case and tell you what your options might be. Call us at (856) 685- 7420 for a free case evaluation.