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Wrongful Termination

August 26, 2022

By Thomas McCutcheon

We get calls all the time from people who tell us they were fired for the wrong reason. The problem with that is there are very few wrong reasons. We had a lady who had a great job making over $150,000 a year who refused to get a COVID shot. They fired her. A lot of people would argue that’s not a valid reason. She didn’t even get unemployment.  

We have people call who get in arguments with co-workers that they didn’t start or really even participate in who were fired. We have people call who were let go for no reason or the wrong reason.  

There’s not anything that the court system can do in those situations. Private employers can fire people in the State of Alabama for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all. That’s the law.  

Alabama has never expanded worker’s rights beyond those protected under the United States Constitution or other federal law except for in one particular situation.  

That particular situation is a restriction on employers who may not fire an employee for asserting an on the job injury claim. If an employer fires an injured worker because they asserted a worker’s compensation claim, that’s a dandy lawsuit, and we’d like to have it. Oddly enough, the worker’s compensation part of that case is tried only by a judge, while the retaliatory discharge case is tried by a jury.  

The law often doesn’t make sense. For instance, the law, in all of its wisdom, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges. Employees can quit a job anytime for any reason. By the same token, employers can fire an employee at anytime for any reason except race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, certain disabilities and on the job injuries. The Federal Government’s EEOC website is quite informative.   

Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!


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