How long after I lose my job can I file for wrongful termination?

by Steve
(Minneapolis, MN)

I lost my job after working there 14 years because I called in sick in the same week my parents both died. I was a good worker and had been laid off and called back to work about a year before. Does this qualify as a valid wrongful termination claim? Is there a minimum length of time I have to wait before filing a claim for wrongful termination?

I'm just seeking any information you might be able to give. Thanks for your time!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "How long after I lose my job can I file for wrongful termination?":

Steve (Minneapolis, MN):

In Minnesota there is a two (2) year statute of limitations within which one must file a civil claim for wrongful termination.

Before considering the viability of filing such a claim, you must consider whether or not a wrongful termination occurred, and if so, what your rights as a wrongfully terminated employee are.

If you were employed under a written contract of employment, and that contract sets out the grounds for a claim of wrongful termination, then you must look to the contract for your legal remedies. If the contract calls for termination for "good cause," then you must determine whether or not your termination was for good cause. If so, then you may have no legal remedies.

In the alternative, if you were not employed under a written contract, then you were likely working under an "at-will" employment agreement. As an at-will employee, your job can be terminated for just about any reason, short of discrimination.

Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is wrongfully terminated, demoted, or not hired because of sex, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, or sexual preference. From the facts you present, none of those issues seems apparent.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for How long after I lose my job can I file for wrongful termination?

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That's what happened to me!
by: Anonymous

That is similar to what happened to me. He gave me more work load and made it seem that I couldn't get it done on time. This started right after he got promoted to (Super).

Then he made an accusation that I had not used my PPE (which I had). Him and his buddy premeditated the whole thing. Probably because I never complained about anything that was going on.

Laid Off
by: Anonymous

I was laid off in Nov 2014 due to budget cuts, at least that's what I was told by my Lead and Manager. I had to turn over all my work to my backup, who was very good friends with our Lead.

Three months later he passed away and now my old position has been posted, I have read that I should have right to first refusal on this position but was told by my old Lead that I had to apply for it.

Most likely a younger person got this job and my resume indicates I did all the jobs in this position. I never had any disciplinary write-ups, I learned not only my job but excelled at it, I was the backup to the person that took over my work, I also backed up the Lead when he was not around and provided support to Trade Shows.

My problem is, my backup was not required to go to work but stayed home and worked on his house and got paid for it (this he actually told me on one of our trips).

He also refused to work any Trade Shows, and every week in his weekly reports he said he didn't do anything, at least probably up to 90% of the time. I know for a fact they fudged his evals because they were on speaker phone one day and the Lead told him to make up a number for assists he did.

I just turned 60 last November, a couple days before being laid off, and our Lead has said on numerous occasions that we had to identify younger people to bring in since some of us older ones were not going to be around forever. Since that time, the guy that passed away was in his mid 60's, another guy was also in his later 60's and he retired.

I on numerous occasions had recommended we look at new work and bidding on others, but was told it wasn't our job, but we were told many times to look for new work on our contract, so the company lost out on several contracts.

I have proof of these weekly reports. I saw what this Lead did to another guy that was let go, but then that guy didn't do anything anyway. Both my Lead and Manager said I wasn't being laid off because of work performance but only that our contract was being cut money.

But now I find out they posted my old job that is combined with the man that passed away's job, both of which I did, but now those jobs are at 50 thousand a year less. And typically with this group, they lay off because they need to hire someone at another location, which I was told they had to do, but can't confirm that yet.

I believe I was wrongfully laid off because of favoritism, when two others were best friends with the Lead and neither did much of anything and that's the only reason.

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