Many wrongful termination cases pertain to false accusations. A simple example of this would be an employer or coworker making false accusations against an employee, and the falsely accused employee is subsequently fired based on those false accusations.
Unfortunately, it’s also possible for an employer to make up a false reason to fire an employee. As a result, the wrongfully terminated employee is likely to feel isolated and uncertain, potentially believing they have no legal recourse available to them.
However, this may not be true, even in the face of at-will employment laws that generally allow employers to fire employees for any reason or no reason at all, with or without prior notice.
The EEOC Claim Process
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated due to false accusations, an experienced employment attorney can help you file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This agency is responsible for investigating all harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination claims in American workplaces. The EEOC must evaluate your claim and determine whether your employee fired you for an illegal reason. Suppose the EEOC determines that reasonable cause exists to substantiate your claim. In that case, the EEOC will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue that allows you to proceed with a civil action against your employer with the backing of the EEOC.
A successful wrongful termination claim can potentially secure reinstatement for the wrongfully terminated employee along with other benefits, such as compensation for lost income and benefits. The employee may also qualify to claim compensation for the employer’s intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, succeeding with a wrongful termination claim with an EEOC complaint may not repair the damage done to the employee’s reputation.
Suing for Defamation
The term “defamation” refers to harming another person’s reputation through false accusations. For example, suppose another party has made false allegations against you that have resulted in harm to your reputation and economic losses, such as the loss of your job. In that case, you likely have grounds for a defamation lawsuit. Defamation is not a crime, but a tort, which qualifies for civil damages. The claimant must prove the allegations made by the defendant are false and resulted in measurable harm.
It is essential to weigh your legal options carefully if you believe you have grounds for a defamation lawsuit. Many people believe it is not worth filing a lawsuit for defamation because proving damages is more complex than many claimants realize. However, when defamation relates to wrongful termination, the claimant could have more evidence on their side than they initially realize. If your recent wrongful termination relates to defamatory statements made by your employer or a coworker, consult an employment attorney as soon as possible.
FAQs About Wrongful Termination
If you have been wrongfully terminated due to false accusations, you probably have many questions regarding your rights and your options for legal recourse. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams have years of experience handling wrongful termination cases. The following are some of the most common questions we hear from prospective clients regarding this subject.
Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused at Work?
A false accusation alone is not enough to warrant legal action. However, if the false accusation results in actual harm, such as the loss of your job and damage to your reputation, you have the right to seek compensation for these damages. As far as your employer is concerned, you can only take legal action against your employer if the employer violated applicable labor laws.
How Do I Sue a Company for False Accusations?
If your employer makes a false accusation against you that results in actual harm, such as losing your job, you have the right to file a civil claim against them. This process is likely to begin with an EEOC claim. An employment attorney is the best resource to consult regarding your legal options after experiencing false accusations that have harmed your reputation and livelihood.
Can I Sue for a Wrongful Termination Due to False Accusations?
If your employer fired you for an illegal reason or violated US labor laws in any way that led to your firing, you have the right to pursue a claim for wrongful termination. An employment attorney can assist you in filing a claim to the EEOC and help you determine the scope of the damages you can include in your subsequent lawsuit.
How Can I Prove Wrongful Termination?
If you intend to file a claim of wrongful termination, you must be able to prove that the employer’s stated reason for your firing was false. For example, the employer could fabricate a reason to fire you, and you would need to prove they falsified this information. The employer may also cite false allegations made by another party to justify your firing. Similarly, you would need to prove these allegations were false, thereby making your termination wrongful.
If you have recently lost your job due to false accusations, it’s understandable to feel isolated and hopeless about your situation. While the legal mechanisms required for appropriately addressing this type of situation are undoubtedly challenging, this should not stop you from exercising your rights and defending yourself, especially when defamatory, false accusations have cost you your job and threatened your livelihood.
The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams have years of experience handling wrongful termination cases and other employment law-related matters. We understand the uncertainty your situation has likely caused and want to provide the legal guidance you need to navigate it effectively.
If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced employment lawyer, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.