Losing a job – whether an employee quit or was laid off or fired – can be a devastating experience. Unless a person has a contract, he or she can be terminated at will by the employer, meaning a job could end at any time.
Whether an Arizona employee plans to quit a job or is facing impending termination, it’s important that he or she understands employment law and specific rights related to employment.
Employment contracts often outline the terms of employment. If the employee has a written contract, it should outline the reasons for termination. If the employer doesn’t abide by the terms in the contract, a breach of contract has occurred and the company could be sued.
If the employee has no contract, but was promised certain things during the course of the employment – such as the exact length of the position or the possibility of the employee staying as long as he or she wanted – then an oral agreement may have been created. However, because these promises were not made in writing, they are difficult to prove.
Although most employment is at will, that does not mean employers can fire employees illegally. Wrongful discharge occurs when employees are fired based on their age, gender, race or disability. They also cannot retaliate against employees who make complaints about illegal activities or unsafe working conditions.
Proper documentation is essential when a person’s position is terminated, since there is a difference between being laid off and being fired. A journal should include any work-related events that could positively or negatively affect a person’s job.
This journal should include performance reviews, changes in salary and any general comments of approval or disapproval. Employees should also review their personnel file before leaving the company – this action is generally allowed in most states. All this documentation will come in handy should a legal battle ensue.
Source: FindLaw, “Your Rights when Losing or Leaving a Job” accessed March 7, 2015
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