Wrongful termination is one of the most commonly misunderstood employment issues. Wrongful termination does not have to be directly connected to a discriminatory action. There are several other more subtle indications of wrongful termination that are often overlooked.
There are a few other means of wrongful termination that every employee should understand.
Breach of contract
Employers cannot terminate an employee under a signed employment contract for any behavior or action protected within that contract. For example, employers cannot terminate an employee for refusing to work in the office if their employment contract explicitly permits remote work. Any termination for that reason could be a breach of contract and wrongful.
When you file a complaint about management problems, including not only mistreatment or unprofessional conduct but also illegal behaviors or harassment, any termination following that complaint without a valid reason may qualify as wrongful termination. A history of positive performance reviews and no recent corrective actions or reprimands can strengthen this case.
When your employer creates a hostile work environment or sets you up to fail, or some other situation in which you cannot sustain your job, in an effort to push you to quit, that could be constructive dismissal. An example of this is demoting you in a demeaning way or changing your work environment without sufficient reason or advanced notice.
Wrongful termination laws exist to protect workers from mistreatment by employers. Understand your rights as an employee and protect those rights if you face a wrongful termination. The more you know about the more subtle means of wrongful termination, the easier it is to identify if it happens to you.