When To Hire an Employment Lawyer
Daniel Tan | February 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

Employment Rights After a Job Termination in USA

Ohio, like many other states, is an “at-will” state. This means that most employers can fire or terminate an employee for any reason at any time. You may be terminated for reasons that you disagree with or even for no particular reason at all, so long as the reason for termination is not illegal or unlawful.

Regardless of whether you have been unlawfully terminated, terminations can be stressful. Following termination, you may wonder what rights you have. Below, we take a look at what rights employees have after a job termination in the United States.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. This is general information meant to educate. Please consult with a Toledo wrongful termination lawyer for legal advice and guidance.

Where Can I Learn More About My Specific Employment Rights After a Termination?

There are a few different places where you can look to learn more about your specific employment rights after you have been terminated. These include:

  1. Federal and state laws: At both the federal and state level, employees have certain rights that are afforded to them. Some of these rights include job loss, health care benefits, and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
  2. Employment contract: Your employment contract will typically include key information about your employment rights after you have been terminated. An employment contract may offer further information about continuing your healthcare coverage, detailed if your employer offers assistance in finding new work, and provides information about severance pay.
  3. Company policies: Checking your company handbook can be beneficial. You may find more details about your company’s termination policies and how they will impact you. This may include a severance plan and other information. (It is important to note that federal law does not require employers to offer severance pay unless otherwise stated in an employment contract.)

If you have an employment contract and believe you have been wrongfully terminated, be sure to consult your employment contract and company handbook and consider speaking with a wrongful termination attorney in Toledo, Ohio for further information.

What Kind of Rights Do I Have Following a Job Termination?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, following a job termination, there are a few different rights than an individual has. These include the right to continue your health care coverage, and depending on the circumstances, the right to unemployment benefits and compensation.

Unemployment Benefits

Employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Other eligibility requirements must be met, and these can vary from state to state. Can you collect unemployment if you get severance in Ohio

To be eligible for Ohio’s state unemployment benefits, an individual must meet criteria such as:

  • Being “partially or unemployed due to no fault of your own”
  • “If you were employed for at least 20 weeks during the first four of the last five calendar quarters”
  • “If you earned an average weekly wage of $280 during the time you were employed”

Equal Employment Opportunity

Under federal law, the EEO laws prohibit specific types of workplace discrimination in the United States. Types of discrimination that are prohibited under EEO laws include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Ethnic/national origin
  • Disability
  • Veteran Status
  • Age

An employee cannot be terminated for any of the above reasons. For example, say an employee is terminated after filing a complaint to HR for racial discrimination. Their employer may attempt to cover up the retaliatory termination by claiming that the employee was terminated for poor performance.. This would be an unlawful reason to terminate an employee if the employee can show that their poor performance was not the real reason for termination, but rather they were terminated because they complained of discrimination.

If you believe you have been unlawfully terminated, you may have grounds to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS)

Under federal law, the Department of Labor’s VETS protects the employment rights of veterans of the armed forces. VETS “protects service members’ reemployment rights when they are returning from a period of service” through the branch’s oversight of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

USERRA affords veterans several different protections including:

  • Reemployment rights
  • Health insurance protection
  • The right to be free from discrimination and retaliation

What if I Believe I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?

Even if you are an at-will employee, there are many exceptions to the at-will employment rule. As discussed above, there are laws in place that prohibit employers from terminating employees for reasons such as discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. How Long Does A Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Take In Ohio

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, you have the right to seek assistance. It can be helpful to consider reaching out to a Toledo wrongful termination lawyer who will be able to provide expert insight and look over the details of your situation to determine if you have grounds for a legal claim.

Other steps to take following a wrongful termination include:

  1. Keeping copies of any relevant documentation and communication about your job, your termination, and the time leading up to your termination. This may include emails, text messages, direct messages, your employment contract, your employee handbook, and other physical documents.
  2. Taking notes about the situation. Be as detailed as possible and try to take notes every day.
  3. Keeping your documentation, notes, and other evidence on your personal computer or at home. Do not store evidence on your work computer.

The Friedmann Firm, LLC is a personal injury law firm based in Columbus, Ohio with additional offices in Toledo, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. With a focus on employment law, The Friedmann Firm’s team of experienced wrongful termination attorneys in Toledo, Ohio concentrates on ensuring that employees are paid fairly, that unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace is addressed, and that employees are aware of their rights following termination. They pride themselves on successfully representing clients throughout Ohio and deeply understanding how the legal system works for employees. They offer free and confidential initial consultations.

Daniel Tan

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