What constitutes wrongful termination?

Wrongful termination in Missouri is often a widely misunderstood topic. According to Fortune, most employment is considered at will. This means your employer needs no reason to fire you. Not being given a solid reason for being fired does not constitute wrongful termination under the law unless your employment contract specifies otherwise.

At will employment also means that you can be fired for any reason not protected under the law. For example, your employer could fire you simply because he or she does not like you, but your employer could not fire you for being disabled. There are also laws protecting you from being fired because of your age, gender, religion and race. Laws protect you from being fired for reporting safety issues or sexual harassment, too. There are additional laws protecting your rights against being fired at the federal and state levels.

Wrongful termination, therefore, is being fired for a legally protected reason. If you are fired because you are a woman, for example, this is wrongful termination based upon gender. On the other hand, if you are let go because your employer was attracted to you and worried this would cause issues in his relationship, this is perfectly legal. The law sides more with employers than employees when it comes to wrongful termination.

The only possible way to protect yourself against the at will employment policies is to get a contract and draw up stipulations for how and why your employment can be terminated. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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