Overview Of Wrongful Termination Law In Arizona
Wrongful termination, also called wrongful firing or wrongful discharge, refers to legal actions claiming that an employer has wrongfully terminated an employee. In Arizona, which follows the legal doctrine commonly known as "employment at will," employers are generally free to fire employees with good reason or without any reason whatsoever, as long as the termination does not violate the terms of a written contract or run afoul of a specific state or federal law.
Despite the fact that employers are generally free to fire employees at will, however, wrongful termination claims may still arise when the employer's motivation for terminating an employee was unlawful. Because it can be difficult to determine what actions and motivations can give rise to a claim it is often worth consulting with an Arizona employment attorney to determine whether you might have a claim.
Legal Bases For Wrongful Termination Claims
Wrongful termination claims in Arizona may arise out of a firing or constructive discharge motivated by retaliation for an employee who has reported and/or refused to endorse some wrongdoing by the employer. There are specific Arizona and federal statutes providing for whistleblower protections in many such cases, as well as catch-all provisions covering claims that may not fall under these specific laws. It is also illegal for an employer to terminate an employee based on the employee's membership in certain protected classes defined by State and federal laws, including such things as race, religion, age, sex, or disability.
Determining Whether You Have A Claim Under Arizona Wrongful Termination Law
Unfortunately, determination of whether a valid wrongful termination claim exists usually requires an analysis of all the facts and circumstances that led up to the firing. It is also important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of any potential wrongful termination claim, along with the costs, and the risks, associated with bringing such a claim.
In order to determine your rights and understand your options, if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated you should consult with an experienced Arizona employment lawyer familiar with wrongful termination actions as soon as possible.