With the rash of terminations and layoffs going on throughout the area, wrongful terminations are a hot topic. However, not all terminations, even if they feel wrong, are not always wrongful, which may make you wonder, what does a wrongful termination look like?
One example of wrongful termination in Oregon could involve an employee who is fired for reporting or opposing unlawful discrimination in the workplace.
This is illegal because it violates the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age, disability or veteran status.
The law also protects employees who file complaints, testify or participate in investigations or proceedings related to discrimination.
What to do after the wrongful termination
If an employee is wrongfully terminated for this reason, they can file a cause of action against their employer with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries or in court. The employee may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.
Timeline to file a complaint
The employee must file a complaint with BOLI within one year of the termination. Alternatively, they must file a complaint within 300 days, if they also want to pursue a federal claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Wrongful termination is a serious violation of an employee’s rights and dignity. But, more importantly, it is a violation of the law, and you do not have to accept it. Employees who have been wrongfully terminated should understand their options and seek justice.