Exceptions to “At Will” Firing an Employee – Avoid Wrongful Termination

Anyone who has been “let go” from a job knows the misery that comes along with, especially if they’ve been working for the company for many years. While most states carry the “at will” rule when it comes to firing, there are some exceptions. “At will” means that anyone can be fired at any time, even for no reason. Upon possible wrongful termination, it’s necessary more about this rule and see if it was possibly illegal to be eligible and receive compensation.

Further, securing wrongful termination lawyers that specialize in the field and can guide the employee is crucial. It can mean the difference between having a promising future whether with or without the company.

Have a Contract?

First and foremost, anyone who has a written contract or other statement that offers a promise of employment security has a strong case for not being an “at will” employee. Wrongful termination lawyers may be able to enforce any written promises in court.

Implied Promises

An implied contract that is solely based on what an employer says to the employee may be another exception to the “at will” law. Though hard to prove but can be a solution. The wrongful termination lawyers will consider:

• length of employment

• any job promotions

• positive performance reviews

• assurances of lasting employment

• failure to give warning if stated in a manual, or similar violations

Breaching of Good Faith

This is another way in which an employer possibly treated the client unfairly. Breach of a duty of good faith and fair dealing is one instance in which the court has found evidence of wrongful termination.

In some cases, they’ve fired or transferred an employee to keep them from gaining commissions, misled them when it comes to promotions or wage increase, or made up reasons for firing in order to replace the employee with someone who will have a lower salary.

Violations of Public Policy

Wrongful termination lawyers know it’s totally illegal to violate public policy when letting go an employee. However, before a wrongful termination claim can be based on this, most courts have some requirements. Being fired for:

• denying employees earned vacation pay or commissions.

• Firing for taking time off for jury duty or to vote

• Termination due to serving in the military

• Whistle blowing


Discrimination is another huge reason for hiring wrongful termination lawyers. No employer can fire an employee in regards to skin color, race, nationality, gender, religious preference, age, pregnancy, disability or sexual orientation; even if they are an “at will” employee.

There are special steps to follow in the case of discrimination so it’s important to contact a lawyer immediately.


Believe it or not there are many extreme cases in which an employer’s reason for firing is so terrible that they are classified as fraud, which is most often seen in the recruitment process.

The most difficult part of having proof of fraud is being able to show that the employer did the act with purpose, and was planning to trick the employee. Documentation is key and should include who, what when where and why the falsities were made.

Defamation of Character

Hiring wrongful termination lawyers for defamation is a way to protect the employee’s reputation and good standing within the community. When attempting to prove that defamation was related to being fired, the employee has to show that terrible and false statements were made that would inhibit the employee from finding new employment elsewhere.

In any case, the key is to align with great wrongful termination lawyers and keep notes! Having the proper documentation of every occurrence can help a person save their career or secure their future.