Can I Get Fired for That? Three Facts About Wrongful Dismissal Law

What is unfair dismissal

According to the Telegraph, an ex-Glencore oil trader, Andrew Kearns, has lost his wrongful dismissal case and now owes the company the equivalent of over $200,000 in court and lawyer fees.

Kearns was dismissed after failing to attend critical meetings during a Singapore business trip after drinking to excess the night before. In Glencore’s favor was their offer to help Kearn with his drinking problem– which Kearn turned down, instead going to a pub when he was supposed to be at work.

Understanding the restrictions and rules under wrongful dismissal laws will help ensure a more positive outcome for those considering going to trial. Here are three important parts of wrongful dismissal law that you should know.

1. Free Speech is Not Usually Covered

After the recent Duck Dynasty uproar, in which A and E suspended show patriarch Phil Robertson for making racist and anti-gay remarks, many Americans were fervently debating over the right of free speech. What many people don’t seem to know, is that most employees are hired under “at-will” employment. This means that you can be dismissed for any reason by an employer not covered by discrimination laws (many things such as race and religion are covered, free speech, however, is not).

2. How Retaliation Works

You may have heard that retaliatory firing is illegal, and it is. However, what can count as retaliatory is specific and defined by law. To prove that your job loss is due to employer retaliation, you need to prove that you were participating in a legally protected activity (such as reporting workplace sexual harassment), that the activity had prompted your employer to act against you, and that the action of your employer had adverse consequences (such as being fired).

3.Wage and Hour Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act decrees that employees working over a certain amount of hours in a day, or in a week, are paid overtime. Employees must receive overtime pay once they work over 40 hours a week, and the rate has to be at least time-and-a-half. The exception to this is employees in management, outside sales employees, administration, etc. The FLSA does not make mandate overtime for holidays or weekends.

Rights for employees are important to follow. Have you ever had to hire a labor attorney for help in an employee lawsuit? Let us know in the comments. Read more articles like this: St. louis personal injury attorney

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