Many Portland-area professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and accountants, will sign an employment contract when they agree to take a position.
In some professions, like private education for example, the industry standard may be for an employer to have a contract with a teacher, administrator or other employee. High-level corporate positions also typically will receive an employment contract.
If a professional or executive gets fired and feels that they were fired improperly, they should first examine their employment contracts.
Employment contracts may spell out under what circumstances an employer can fire the employee. If the employer does not follow the terms of the contract, then the employee might be able to sue for compensation.
Professionals and executives also may have other options after termination
Both Oregon law and federal law also offer workers other protections that apply to all employees, including professionals and executives.
- For example, an employer cannot terminate an employee if doing so would be discriminatory. Basically, in order to fire someone, an employer is going to have to give an objective reason that does not involve an employee’s race, gender or other legally protected status. If they fire someone based on a workplace rule or for poor performance, the employer also need to be able to show that the apply their standards consistently.
- Employers may also not retaliate against employees for reporting law violations, including violations of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, to the authorities.
- Employees also may not be punished for participating in an investigation. Often, government agencies investigate companies to determine if they have followed the government agency’s regulations. Employees are free to participate in these investigations and be honest with the investigators.
Like other employees, business executives and professions have the legal option to fight back after they get unlawfully fired. They should be sure that they understand their legal options for doing so.