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Wrongful termination facts you must know

Being fired is traumatic and frustrating, and it can put a lot of stress into your life very suddenly. It's even more jarring when you think you've been fired illegally. Below are some wrongful termination facts you must know in Michigan.

1. At-will employment doesn't mean you can be fired for any reason. It just means the company can fire you for any reason that is legal. It does not give employers the ability to fire a person based on race, religion, or other illegal grounds.

2. At-will employment does mean that your employer doesn't have to give you a solid reason for the firing. You can ask if you're curious, but they may tell you there isn't even a reason, and this is still legal -- except, of course, if the employer is lying to cover up an illegal firing.

3. Some state laws are tougher than or equal to federal laws. Even at the federal level, though, you're given a lot of protections, as you can't be fired due to your race, skin color, sex, national origin, religion, or age. You also can't be fired because you are pregnant, and those with disabilities also get some protections.

4. You could claim, in some cases, that you were wrongfully terminated if you were fired because you wouldn't break the law after a supervisor told you to do so.

It's important to know what rights you have and what protections the law gives you. While at-will employment does leave the door open for a quick firing, always remember that that does not give companies free rein to do whatever they want.

Source: HR Morning, "7 Facts every HR manager should know about wrongful discharge," Jim Giuliano, accessed July 20, 2016

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