If you file any sort of complaint against your employer for discrimination, wages, unsafe work conditions, etc., they do not have the right to fire you in retaliation.
Losing your job, especially without a warning can put you and your family in a difficult financial situation. Many employees in Oregon wonder whether they can be fired without a reason or without a warning. Oregon is an employment at-will state so your employer has the right to fire you at any time and without giving any reason. However, there are situations when you being fired may, in fact, be a case of discrimination. This is illegal and you should get in touch with a knowledgeable Oregon employment lawyer if you have any doubts about your situation.
What constitutes wrongful termination in Oregon?
Employees in Oregon are protected against any form of discrimination based on race, color sex, religion, age, disability, national origin as well as many other protected characteristics. If you are treated unfairly or harassed on account of any protected characteristic, you are entitled to file a discrimination complaint. A skilled employment lawyer in Portland can explain what are the legal steps to follow.
If you think you were fired because of the color of your skin, sex, age, etc, this may be a case of wrongful termination.
Anti-discrimination laws also apply to the hiring process. If you feel the employer was prejudiced against people in a protected class and this is why you didn’t get the job, you may file a complaint with state or federal agencies.
What about sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment falls under sex-based discrimination and can be of two types, depending on who is harassing you. If you are sexually harassed by your supervisor or employer this is known as a quid pro quo case. If you are unfairly treated and harassed by your coworkers this is referred to as a hostile work environment case.
If a supervisor or manager is asking you for sexual acts and threatens you with termination if you do not accept, this is sexual harassment. However, if you are fired this can also be viewed as wrongful termination. You should talk to an employment lawyer specializing in sexual harassment to see about your rights. If you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you may be able to recover damages for all your employer has put you through as well as for the lost wages. In certain cases, you can also ask to be reinstated if you so wish.
Can I be fired in retaliation?
If you file any sort of complaint against your employer for discrimination, wages, unsafe work conditions, etc., they do not have the right to fire you in retaliation. For instance, if you file an internal complaint for sexual harassment and, instead of putting an end to your torment, your employer retaliates by firing you this is illegal and you should notify your lawyer about it immediately. The same applies if an employer fires or demotes employees cooperating with a discrimination complaint investigation. Any employee fired in retaliation can recover damages if they file a complaint of their own with the EEOC.