Is there some kind of law that protects employees generally from wrongful termination?
Ron Poliquin, DoverLawOffice.com, I am your Delaware Employee Rights Attorney.
I get a lot of questions regarding what the heck is wrongful termination? Is there some kind of law that protects employees, generally, from wrongful termination? Well, it is a common question. Lawyers sometime throw that out there, a wrongful termination. You hear it a lot in the media, but there's actually no cause of action called a wrongful termination. We in Delaware are an at-will employment state. What does that mean? At-will employment state means you can get fired for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all, as long as it's not for an illegal reason. There is no cause of action called wrongful termination. That is kind of this umbrella term that we use for other statues that have been created.
We already know you can be terminated for good reason, bad reason, for no reason at all, and most employees when they get fired, guess how much they get? Donut Babe. Alright? They don't get anything. Most people get a kick in the butt and they take the little box out and they go to the parking lot and have to look for another job. Most people do not have any rights after they get employed. There are exceptions, notable exceptions, exceptions to the rule. Most employment cases come under the broad statute of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on sex, race, color, national origin and religion. Some states statutes have expanded that. In Delaware that also means sexual orientation.
So basically, you can get fired for good reason, bad reason, no reason at all, as long as its not for an illegal reason, meaning something based on sex, race, color, national origin or religion. A lot of times that also means for retaliation. There is also a whistle-blower statute, meaning if you report somebody that's breaking the law or somebody that's illegally funneling money of some kind - there's also whistle-blower statute protection. There are also common law things; breach of good faith and fair dealing. I'm not going to get in that too much, that is a whole other video. So, for the most part, Delaware is an at-will employment state, but you cannot be terminated or illegally treated for sex, race, color, national orientation, religion, or some kind of other protected status. Also, there are claims involving breach of good faith and fair dealing. Which basically, we cannot be terminated for a fraudulent reason. Promissory estoppel could be another employment term, being there is a promise and there's a breach of that promise and there's damage as a result of that promise.
So anyways, that's generally the umbrella of employment law on why people get illegally terminated. The term unlawful termination or wrongful termination is not actually a real legal term. If you want to talk more about your rights, I'd be happy to talk about it. This is Ron Poliquin, your employment lawyer DoverLawOffice.com.