Learn About Legal and Illegal Terminations

Learning the types of legal termination is helpful for everyone, but it can be especially important for seniors. There are many legal reasons to fire an employee, and in many cases, an employer does not have to give any reason at all. This is because most states have something known as at-will employment, which simply means that an employer may fire anyone at any time with or without cause. However, when discussing the types of legal termination of employment, it is crucial to point out that at-will employment does not allow companies to fire people for discriminatory reasons. Discrimination includes adverse action based on an individual’s age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability. Acting in a discriminatory manner is the main ways that an employer can fire someone illegally. However, seniors may want to familiarize themselves with the other reasons for termination that are considered illegal. Below, learn more about the legal reasons for dismissal of employment and how seniors can benefit from knowing this information.

Legal Reasons for Terminating Employees

It is important to understand the types of legal termination of seniors before discussing how discrimination and other factors are related to illegal firings. There are countless legal reasons for terminating employees, and an employer is generally free to use his or her discretion. Seniors may be fired for following directions, missing work, failing to adhere to company policies or being unreliable. Employers may or may not attempt to correct an issue before it results in an employee’s termination. Keep in mind that while an employer will often have a specific cause for firing an employee, it is usually not required to give any reason at all. Overall, it is almost always legal to fire an employee as long as the employer does not discriminate or break other laws when making his or her decision.

Types of Illegal Termination Related to Discrimination

Just as there are many types of legal termination, there are also a variety of ways that employers can fire you illegally. Many of the illegal reasons for terminating seniors relate to discrimination. Overall, your employer cannot treat you differently based on any demographical information about you. This means that your age, race, disability or other factors cannot affect your employer’s decisions. As a senior, it is illegal for your employer to discipline you differently than other employees due to your age. Similarly, it is not considered a type of legal termination when your company fires you based on your status as a senior citizen. This particular issue can occur in a few different ways. First, if your employer is laying people off, it cannot choose to discharge you over any other employee based on your age. Second, if your company recalls employees after a layoff, your age cannot be a factor in whether or not you are rehired.

When it comes to types of legal termination, it is important to note that age-based discrimination applies not just to seniors, but to any employee who is 40 years of age or older. Age is not a legal reason to fire an employee due to fact that older workers are at a disadvantage when looking for new jobs after a termination. Even when seniors have the same skills and expertise as younger workers, it is common for employers to discriminate by extending fewer opportunities to older job applicants. In other words, not only are seniors more likely to face age discrimination that leads to their termination, they can also face discriminatory hiring practices at other companies when looking for new work. Discriminatory hiring practices are considered part of illegal reasons to fire an employee, if the potential employee can prove discrimination took place. Learn more about how ageism and other forms of discrimination are not legal reasons for terminating employees from the workplace by downloading our guide to senior services.

Learn Other Illegal Reasons to Fire an Employee

When talking about types of legal termination, discrimination is not the only factor that leads to illegal firing practices. There are many legal reasons to fire an employee, as well as illegal ones, but it is also important to keep in mind that employers can be held accountable for forcing employees to quit on their own. In many cases, an employer or fellow employees will create an environment that feels hostile or otherwise unwelcoming to seniors. This technically counts as discrimination, and it frequently leads to a senior quitting his or her job. For example, a hostile workplace may result in a senior taking an early retirement, which can have a variety of adverse effects if he or she was not financially prepared to retire yet. Such actions are also considered illegal reasons for termination, if such behavior can be reasonably proven.

Furthermore, the types of legal termination of employment do not include firing employees who are protected under any form of whistleblower or non-retaliation policy, which exists at certain workplaces. Illegal reasons to fire a senior also include terminating someone for exercising his or her civic duties or rights. For example, a senior cannot be fired for voting or serving on a jury, even if it affects his or her work schedule adversely. Certain companies may have specific policies relating to jury duty and similar situations, but no employer can fire a worker for following the law and abiding by company policies when called to such duties. Learn more about types of legal termination and illegal firing practices that seniors may face in the workplace by downloading our guide to senior assistance.