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Can I Sue My Employer?

Employees should enjoy a safe and respectful work environment. However, that's not always the case. Employees may be entitled to take legal action if their employer fails to respect their rights.

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When Can I Sue My Employer?

You may be able to sue your employer in some of the following situations.

Your Employer Discriminated Against You

Federal law, through the American With Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on gender, national origin, sex, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual identity. If you believe you are being discriminated against based on one or more of these grounds, you may bring a discrimination lawsuit against your employer.

You Were Wrongfully Terminated From Your Job

Did your employer terminate your employment for reasons unrelated to the company's state, your employment contract, or your performance? If you are an at-will employee, you can be fired for many reasons, including your boss simply not liking you (unless they don't like you because you are part of a protected class).

But there are also illegal reasons to fire someone. For example, you cannot be fired for serving on jury duty. You also cannot be fired as retaliation for being a whistleblower. If you were fired for an illegal reason, you may sue your employer for wrongful termination.

Your Employer Is Harassing You

Although there are different types of harassment, the most common one is sexual harassment. This harassment may be from your employer. You will also have grounds to sue your employer if another co-worker harassed you, and your employer failed to do anything about it.

You Were Injured at the Workplace

Employees are entitled to workers' compensation benefits for workplace injuries even if their actions helped cause the injury. If your employer won't pay you, contact a lawyer to get a claim started.

You may also be entitled to sue for injuries that would not otherwise fall within a worker's compensation claim. This may include injuries caused by defective products and/or third-party negligence.

Can I Sue My Employer for Bullying Me?

Maybe. If you can prove your employer's actions are affecting you, and you are experiencing emotional distress, you can bring a personal injury claim against your employer. FindLaw has resources on how you can sue your employer for emotional distress at work and bullying.

Before You Sue: See If There Are Alternatives

Lawsuits are expensive and take a long time. Thus, before you sue, make sure you have exhausted all other remedies. You can try one of the following before suing your employer:

  • Speak to your employer to see if the issue can be resolved.
  • Talk to the human resources department or another responsible person that handles these issues.
  • Speak to an attorney to see if there are other ways of resolving the issue.

Make Sure to Document Everything

If you have tried other alternatives and nothing seems to work, it may be time to bring the case to court. But before you file your case, make sure you support your claims with evidence.

So, document everything that shows how your employer violated your rights. You can do this by taking pictures, saving email correspondences, or documenting other encounters with your employer that could prove their illegal behavior.

Additional Resources

An Employment Lawyer May Help With Your Legal Claim

The law protects employees who are unfairly mistreated by their employers. If your employer is committing illegal acts against you, you should take action. Speak to an experienced employment law attorney who can look at your case and give you proper advice on how you should proceed

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You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified employment attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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