Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

While your employer can fire you without cause, your employment cannot be unlawfully ended. Legally, wrongful termination is when an employer violates the terms of your employment contract, public policy, or an individual law. Wrongful termination cases can result from a variety of reasons or circumstances.

Companies cannot terminate someone because of a protected characteristic. These include age, disability, gender or sex, pregnancy, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Doing so violates antidiscrimination laws like the Minnesota Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Legally, employers cannot fire their employees for asserting their legal rights. Federal and state laws prohibit retaliation, which affects wages and hours, health and safety, child labor, and worker’s compensation. For example, activities include taking sick or medical leave, refusing a directive if believed to be illegal, using vacation time, voting, serving on a jury, filing a workers' compensation claim, requesting reasonable accommodations for religious practices or disability, or military service.