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4 ways you can be fired illegally

Suddenly losing your job can be traumatic, especially when it catches you by surprise and you think the firing may even have been illegal. Below are a few key ways that the termination may, in fact, have broken the law.

1. The firing was based on age, race, gender, religion or other protected classes. You can only be fired for work-related reasons, not because your boss doesn't like where you go to church or the color of your skin.

2. Specific provisions in your contract were broken.Most workers don't have contracts specifying how long they'll be employed. If you do, though, it's absolutely crucial to know the protections this gives you.

3. The firing is in retaliation for something you did. For example, if you were being sexually harassed at work, you may have decided to report it to HR. If you were then fired by your boss -- who was harassing you -- because of the report, that's an illegal retaliation.

4. Your employer tricked you into a fraudulent firing. For instance, perhaps your employer wanted to fire you because of your age but knew that was illegal. To disguise it, he or she gave you inaccurate information. This led to a drop in production or serious professional mistakes. You were then fired for making these mistakes, even though the company pushed you into them.

These are just four examples of potentially illegal firings. Always make sure you know what legal protections you have, as an employee, if you feel that you lost your job in an unfair and unlawful manner.

Source: Cheat Sheet, "7 Signs You Were Illegally Fired From Your Job," Nikelle Murphy, accessed Dec. 15, 2016

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