Wrongful termination has occurred when an employee is fired for any reason other than those such as poor work performance, misconduct, or because the employer cannot afford to keep him or her on. While Kansas is an at-will employment state, an employer cannot terminate an employee for reasons related to discrimination, retaliation, or for any reason protected by public policy. Whether you have been terminated or face other forms of workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation because of protected action, you need to discuss your legal options with an experienced workplace attorney. The Kansas City lawyers with HKM Employment Attorneys have the resources, knowledge, and experience necessary to achieve a successful outcome, whether that includes a lawsuit or not, for you and your family.
Public Policy Overrules an Employer’s Unjust Employment Decision
Public policy is the idea that injury to the public good is grounds for dismissing a legal contract, transaction, or in terms of employment, dismissing an employer’s decision to fire an employee. Simply put, public policy is a set of unwritten rules that society holds to be dear. As such, it is every person’s right, and therefore every employee’s right, to engage in certain activities for the good of society without fear of retribution, such as losing his or her job. A few examples of wrongful termination due to an employer’s violation of public policy include the following:
- Terminating an employee for voting;
- Terminating an employee because he or she refused to engage in illegal activities; and
- Terminating an employee because he or she reported an illegal activity observed at work.
Terminated for Political Beliefs
There is much room for interpretation of public policy due to the fact that there is no written list of rules, let alone agreed-upon rules, that each member of society must follow. While an employer cannot fire an employee for voting, for example, Kansas has no law that prohibits an employer from firing an employee for the way that he or she voted. Employers cannot fire employees for discussing workplace conditions, according to the National Labor Relations Board, but employers have commonly, and legally, fired employees for engaging in political discussions or even for voting for the opposing party of the employer’s choosing, as reported by Business Insider. Being part of a political group, or having a specific political view, does not make you part of a protected class and is not a protected characteristic, such as race, religion, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or age. However, if your employer prohibited political discussions from one side of the aisle, but did not do so for the other, you could argue that you were subjected to discrimination.
Your Employer May Have Engaged in Unlawful Behavior
If you were terminated for anything other than misconduct or poor work performance, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced employment attorney because your employer may have wrongfully terminated you. In order to seek justice through compensation or getting your job back, you must work with an attorney and prove that your employer fired you because of a racial prejudice, violation of public policy, or some other unlawful reason such as your religion or disability. Call the HKM Employment Attorneys today.