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Wrongful termination in New Jersey? Hire an attorney!

by Danny white

Like many other states, employment relationships in New Jersey are ‘at will’. This means that an employee or employer can choose to end the contract, with or without a notice or cause. That said, there could be other terms and conditions in an employment agreement, but the overall at-will nature of employment remains the same. So, how do you know if you were wrongful terminated? Do you have a case? Hiring an employment attorney New Jersey is important for such circumstances. Here are some important aspects worth knowing. 

Understanding wrongful termination

If an employer fires an employee in a manner that violates their rights, it is a typical case of wrongful termination. Considering the ‘employment at will’ aspect, proving wrongful termination is not always easy. If someone is fired because of their age, gender, pregnancy, or because they file a complaint against a supervisor, the case of wrongful termination can be pursued. In other words, there are exceptions to the at-will employment relationship, and when the employer’s action breaches the terms of contract, action can be taken. 

When you file a wrongful termination claim, you may be entitled to recover damages under New Jersey laws. This includes lost wages, injunctive relief, reinstatement of position, getting the due benefits as per the position, and court costs. In some cases, especially in cases related to sexual harassment, an attorney can also seek punitive damages for the client. 

Finding the right New Jersey employment lawyer

Not all employment lawyers specialize in handling wrongful termination claims, and therefore, experience is a key factor. If you are hiring an attorney for the first time, make sure that you consider the work profile. For instance, there are some law firms that work for both employees and employers. While that’s not a bad thing, but an attorney working for just employees may have a more empathetic approach. Keep in mind that every case is unique, so ask the employment lawyer if they have handled comparable cases. 

Cost of hiring a lawyer

The lawyer will also explain your rights and what to expect in days ahead. The timeline of the case is important, and depending on circumstances, an employment lawyer may take your case on a contingency basis. In such cases, the lawyer is not paid by the hour, but takes a fixed percentage of the final settlement received. Make sure you talk to the attorney in depth about the expected costs of the case.