Completely unjust, wrongful terminations occur around the world on a daily basis. In Oklahoma, however, not every wrongful termination is legally actionable. Oklahoma follows the antiquated “at-will” standards that allow an employer to fire an employee (who does not have an employment contract) for very little or no reason, giving them the ability to escape any legal liability unless the discharge is also considered illegal. A Tulsa wrongful termination attorney can help you determine if your termination was an illegal one, and assist you if legal action is necessary.
What is Considered Wrongful Termination in Oklahoma?
Most forms of employment in Oklahoma will fall under “at-will” employment. This form of setup means that the employer or employee has the freedom to end employment any time they choose without reason.
Employment that may not fall under “at will” does not adhere to the same restrictions. Therefore, it’s important that you identify the kind of employment arrangement you have. Typically, if your employment was for a specific set term, it is not considered “at will” and the employment can legally only be terminated according to the parameters contained within the contract.
Illegal actions constituting wrongful termination apply when an employer terminates an employee for discriminatory, retaliatory, and various other illegal reasons. These claims include terminations based on race, age, sex, national origin, religion, and disability. Every termination represents an individual issue and must be looked at based on its particular specifics. It’s important to have an experienced Tulsa wrongful termination attorney on your side to help navigate the facts of your case to determine your strongest point of action.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating Employment in Oklahoma?
Discrimination is the most common illegal reason in wrongful termination. An employer is not allowed to fire an employee simply due to their race, gender, gender, religion, or nationality. Employers may also not terminate an at-will employee in retaliation for them filing a discrimination claim or for initiating an investigation for discrimination at the employer.
The Family and Medical leave act protects employees from being fired for taking leave for familial or medical reasons. Employees are also protected from termination for performing a legal obligation (ex. jury duty), exercising legal rights (ex. voting), or for refusing to participate in illegal activity.
With other 35 years as a Tulsa wrongful termination attorney, I have seen firsthand the grief and stress that comes with a wrongful termination. It is imperative to consult a Tulsa wrongful termination attorney immediately following what you suspect may be an illegal termination. Therefore, I make myself available to schedule appointments around my clients needs.