While the state of South Carolina is technically an at-will state for employment, that does not mean that employers have the authority to fire you for any reason. There are many instances in which such treatment may be considered wrongful termination and a violation of both state and federal employment laws.
If you believe you are a victim of wrongful discharge and you do not know where to turn for help, be sure to reach out to a dedicated South Carolina wrongful termination lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm. You may have the right to financial compensation, job reinstatement, and other benefits. Further discuss the specific details of your case when you contact us for a free consultation.
Defining Wrongful Termination
Many people are under the impression that living in an at-will employment state means that you can leave your position at any time, and your employer can terminate you at any time for any reason. However, there are multiple cases in which your employer does not have the right to terminate you or take other adverse action against you, such as retaliating, demoting you, passing you over for job opportunities, or reducing your pay.
When your employer terminates you as a protected status employee, they are in violation of both state and federal employment laws. Some examples of these protected actions could include:
- Making a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Engaging in a criminal investigation of your employer or workplace
- Refusing to engage in or perform illegal acts
- Missing work to report for jury duty
- Making complaints about the safety of your work environment
- Making complaints about illegal activity in your work environment
- Make a complaint about discrimination in your work environment
- Making complaints about your wages or being forced to work overtime
- Becoming a whistleblower
- Requesting reasonable accommodations for a disabling medical condition
- Using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to take a legally protected leave of absence from work
These are only a few of the different instances in which you may find yourself facing wrongful termination. However, you do not need to let your employer get away with it. You can hold them accountable and exercise your rights by contacting a Beaufort wrongful termination lawyer at our firm to discuss your legal opportunities for justice.
Wrongful Termination Is Illegal in Beaufort
It is illegal for employers in Beaufort and across the state of South Carolina to wrongfully terminate employees. This is true at both the state and federal levels. You may have an opportunity to get justice by first filing your complaint with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC).
This government agency is responsible for the oversight and enforcement of discrimination laws. With help from your attorney, you can get the evidence you need to prove your employer’s discriminatory or wrongful acts to the SCHAC.
You also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This federal government agency is responsible for overseeing and enforcing anti-discrimination laws at the federal level. Sometimes, these agencies work together to handle retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination complaints.
However, it may be in your best interest to file a complaint with both government agencies to ensure you are taking all the necessary steps to hold your employer accountable for their discrimination.
How to Take Action After Wrongful Termination
There are multiple ways in which she may be able to take action after you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer. You can start by filing a complaint with the SCHAC and/or the EEOC.
However, you may also be able to pursue civil action through an employment law violation complaint at the state or federal level. Your attorney can go over the specific details of your case with you to determine which approach is most likely to produce a favorable outcome.
Damages You Could Recover
To understand the value of your wrongful termination complaint, it is important to go over all of the ways your life has been affected by your dispute with your employer. You have the right to be repaid for every single loss you have experienced as a result of your employer’s wrongful termination and other acts of discrimination.
First and foremost, your lawyer will go over all of the financial losses you have experienced due to your wrongful termination. You may be entitled to full back pay, your lost wages, and your loss of employee benefits. This might include being repaired for your paid time off, loss of health insurance coverage and benefits, loss of employer retirement savings or 401(k) contributions, loss of vacation time, loss of sick time off, and other benefits.
You may also be entitled to compensation for any financial distress you experienced as a result of your sudden loss of income and employment. This might include restitution for damage to your credit report or score, increases to insurance premiums, and any medical expenses you may have incurred while seeking mental health counseling or treatment for the trauma you experienced and being wrongfully terminated.
The court has the authority to order your employer to reinstate you in your position, cover the cost of your wrongful termination attorneys fees, and could even order punitive damages be awarded if your employer acted with gross negligence or intentionally wrongfully terminated your employment.
It is not unusual for victims of wrongful termination to find themselves dealing with severe psychological stress in addition to the financial burden of being fired. However, when you pursue your case in court, you have the opportunity to recover compensation for your pain and suffering damages, emotional distress, and the toll the situation has taken on your life.
You might also be able to request that the court order your employer to make changes to their employment practices so your work environment is more manageable if you are being reinstated and you can protect others from being victims of wrongful termination in the future.
Meet with a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Beaufort Today
Wrongful termination is unacceptable. You can take steps to hold your employer accountable for their actions by working with an experienced wrongful termination attorney in Beaufort.
Access the compensation and benefits you are entitled to and demand justice for your wrongful treatment when you contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. Fill out our secure contact form or call us to take advantage of this opportunity.