Got Fired In Chattanooga? Find Out If It Was Illegal

f you’ve been fired from your work and also the situations appear unfair, you might be asking yourself if you could successfully sue your former employer of what’s referred to as “wrongful termination” as well as get compensated for your financial losses. Probably you feel upset or frustrated and it’s understandable, especially if you believe the reason of firing was unfair. However, not all firings that are unfair are illegal. Under federal and Tennessee laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of  “protected categories,” including when making decisions about firing. With decades of experience, the Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC,  have come out with a list of most common aspects that are illegal when firing.

What Makes a Firing Illegal?

Generally, employers don’t need a valid point — or any at all– to discharge their employees, since most work is “at will.” Yet government and also state legislations do distinguish several exceptions. As an example, employers typically can not fire at-will workers for the adhering to factors:

  • discrimination of mentioned above “protected categories” based on a age (over 40), disability, race, national origin, religion, marital status, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions) sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • rejection to protect you from harassment ( for example, coming from other employees) based on above characteristics.
  • failure to offer affordable lodging for your special needs, pregnancy, or religious beliefs.
  • refusal to provide you time off that you’re lawfully entitled to take, or.
    violation of an employment contract or the firm’s policy.
  • retaliation for exercising a legal right or for reporting certain unlawful activities

Typical Reasons for Firing That Aren’t Illegal

If your previous company’s actions weren’t prohibited under any one of the exceptions to the at-will guideline, your wrongful termination case possibly won’t go far. That can be irritating, yet it’s much better to know earlier rather than later on whether you have a possibility of getting any settlement for your problems.

Bullying or run-of-the-mill harassment

It’s a typical false opinion that any type of kind of workplace harassment is unlawful. Nevertheless, laws that call for companies to safeguard their employees from prohibited harassment apply just when you’re being targeted because of a protected characteristic. So you can have an unlawful harassment case under federal legislation if you were fired or required to quit due to the fact that you underwent severe or pervasive harassment based upon your sex, disability, ethnic background, or religion– as well as your company really did not deal with the situation correctly.

But numerous people say their supervisors or coworkers bullied them because of a personality problem or just because they didn’t like them. Unless that behavior was based on their race or one more protected characteristic, they possibly didn’t have a legit wrongful termination case.

Personal preferences

Several clients coming to McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC informed us that they were fired because their manager intended to hire a good friend or relative, or a new manager thought it would be better to start with a completely new staff. Others spoke of being reprimanded for situations other colleagues got away with (like lateness), or going through requirements not related to others (like a requirement to authorize credit report authorization). Unfortunately, unless such prejudiced attitude was based on a secured particular or there was an additional prohibited factor behind these actions, these workers would not have a legit wrongful termination claim.


More than half of the people with an unsuccessful wrongful termination case based on leave told us they were fired for taking personal leave, bereavement leave, too frequent sick leave (for minor health problems). The federal Family as well as Medical Leave Act does not shield employees that require time off for these reasons. Unfortunately, Tennessee law neither requires employers to provide sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

Posts on Facebook or other Social media

Constitutional free speech rights don’t put on those who help exclusive employers, but specific types of online speech might be protected under federal as well as state legislations. Federal regulations protect employees’ legal rights to connect with each other concerning pay issues as well as work environment problems, or to elevate concerns regarding their companies’ illegal actions. And some states restrict employers from disciplining employees for sharing political views. Yet in general, companies can legally discharge staff members for uploading declarations or images that could be seen as racist or sexist, or that disclose trade secrets or secret information.

Get Legal Help

Very often, employers don’t feel like telling their employees the real reason they’re being fired. Thus, if you have reasonable suspicion of being fired illegally, the best you can do is talking to an employment lawyer about the circumstances around your firing. Our attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC  can tell you whether your employer’s actions might be illegal and whether you have a good chance of receiving compensation for your financial losses. Don’t hesitate to contact us and protect your rights.

Are You The Victim Of Work Discrimination? Here’s How To Prove It

Any kind of discrimination is painful and unfair. If you have faced with such type of behavior at work, you will likely discover it needed to seek an attorney to represent your interests. During the first couple of meetings with your new attorney it is important to find out all the details, so you will certainly be asked many questions. In addition to speaking to your attorney about your claim, you will certainly likewise need to show your records connecting to your case. Regardless of the underlying act, recognizing how you can prove the fact of discrimination at work is essential.

Physical proof

It is absolutely vital that you give your attorney any physical evidence of the discrimination or harassment. No matter how distressing you could feel about it, it is essential that you keep it. It might be one of the best ways to verify your case. As an example, if an inappropriate or repulsive image was left on your workdesk at the workplace, give it to your lawyer. Make screenshots or print any kind of created files or information that is offensive.

 Medical records

If discriminating behavior has influenced your health significantly and lead to such issues as hypertension or stress, your attorney must to know that information. These details could impact your entitlement to a recovery of damages. Provide medical and mental health records that prove discrimination or harassment at work forced you to seek health treatment or counseling. If you do not have these records, collect names, telephone numbers, and also addresses of your counselors or medical professionals.


Personnel file

If you claim that you have actually been bugged or victimized at work, your attorney must analyze your personnel file. As an example, it concerns disciplinary warnings or poor performance evaluations if you have actually received any.  If you do not have a copy of your personnel documents, your attorney may have the ability to get it from your employer on your behalf.

Witness details

If there were witnesses to any one of the alleged occurrences of discrimination or harassment, your attorney will certainly find it beneficial to have a list of their names and also call info. This will conserve you time and money and free your personal attorney from leg-work in trying to track down witnesses that could support your allegations.

Your company policies or employee handbook

Once again, if you have actually experienced discrimination or harassment while at the office you may be able to offer your attorney with  ammunition to fight your claim. A variety of companies have employee handbooks that they distribute to their workers. Often, these manuals include an anti-discrimination or anti-harassment plan. Various other employers could post anti-discrimination and also anti-harassment plans in common locations of the workplace, such as the locker area or lunchroom. If that is the case with your company, bring a copy of any type of posted plan to your attorney’s workplace. If your company has a written plan, it ought to have been complied with. If your company really did not, your situation may be reinforced.

Pay records

If you have experienced lost time from job as an outcome of harassment or discrimination (whether or not that incorrect actions is taking place in your workplace) you should supply your attorney with copies of your pay records. If the claim is proved successfully, the attorney may recover your lost wages as damages. To confirm your loss of earnings, you will have to reveal evidence of the difference between your earnings before the discrimination or harassment began, and your earnings later.



Get a Professional Legal Help From McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC

Since you have actually found out ways to confirm discrimination in the work environment, you should have a deeper understanding of whether your claim is solid. The Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, are able to show you some other suggestions for proving your claim as well. Get started today with a call to the team of real legal professionals!