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Wrongful termination is more common than many realize. While exact statistics are hard to pin down, some estimates suggest nearly 150,000 employees are wrongfully fired each year in the United States alone. This troubling trend underscores the need for greater awareness around wrongful termination and how to seek recourse.
At its core, wrongful termination refers to being fired for an illegal reason. This includes discrimination based on protected classes such as age, gender, race, religion, disability status, or sexual orientation. It also encompasses retaliation for whistleblowing, taking legal action against an employer, involvement in union activity, or rejection of sexual advances. Violation of employment contracts or company policies can also constitute wrongful termination in some cases.
The impacts of wrongful termination can be severe. Suddenly losing a job typically means loss of income and benefits like health insurance. It can be challenging finding new employment, especially when fired under suspicious circumstances. Wrongful termination can harm reputations and cause significant emotional distress. Victims describe feelings of powerlessness, anger, depression, and anxiety.
Seeking justice can be an uphill battle, as employers often have far more resources. Hiring legal representation is expensive. Building a convincing case requires thorough evidence gathering and legal expertise. Corporations will fight hard to avoid liability and negative publicity. All of this can deter victims from coming forward.