Cohen & mizrahi llp protects nyc against wrongful termination

In law, wrongful dismissal, also called wrongful termination or wrongful discharge, is a situation in which an employee’s contract of employment has been terminated by the employer, where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract of employment, or a statute provision or rule in employment law.

If you have been terminated by your employer you may be entitled to compensation. Often, termination occurs for reasons that are not legally accepted. When this occurs the breaches of the original contract of employment can be taken to litigation.

Across the country, in all states but one, employment is “at will.” What this means is that an employer can terminate employment at any time without being required to give a reason. Conversely, an employee can resign or leave as he or she pleases without giving a reason. If, on the other hand, the employment contract or other valid documentation, stipulates the promise of job security or termination would only be done with “good cause,” a not at-will claim may be made if the contract is violated. Furthermore, if an employer specifies the period of employment or implements a policy of progressive discipline, an employee may sue after being fired for breach of implied contract. A case can also be made for implied employment contract based on statements made by the employer; this is a more challenging argument though

At-will employment exceptions can be made within public policy in four broad categories:

  • Refusing to perform an act prohibited by state law (i.e., engaging in Medicare fraud)
  • Reporting a legal violation (i.e., reporting Medicare fraud)
  • Engaging in acts that are in the public interest (i.e., jury duty)
  • Exercising a statutory right (i.e., filing a worker’s compensation claim)

An employee may possibly file a wrongful termination lawsuit, as there are key legal exemptions to the at-will employment default rule. Wrongful termination occurs if an employee is fired; due to a violation of company policy, violation of public policy, or illegally, for instance for discrimination based on being a member of a protected category. Federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from issuing a Human Resources complaint regarding sexual harassment.

Assume an employee in a doctor’s office is requested to submit falsified medical documents to Medicare for reimbursement. The employee would be breaking the law, committing fraud against the government. Wrongful termination includes being dismissed for whistleblowing or for refusing to break the law.


The majority of states consent to public policy exclusively expressed in either a state statute or constitution. A number of states, however, permit the reliance of public policies stated in professional ethics codes, social ideas of communal wellbeing, or administrative rules. Proving wrongful dismissal depends entirely on the reason, or reasons, you were fired. Employers cannot terminate employment in violation of public interest, such as discrimination complaints. Public policy dictates that employers can not dismiss employees for submitting a discrimination claim.


According to state law, employees that are wrongfully terminated may be entitled to unemployment compensation. The legal process can be lengthy, receiving unemployment benefits are definitely advantageous. Filing for unemployment compensation varies across the states in many; however, you are ineligible if your employment was terminated due to “misconduct.” Misconduct includes lying, failing an alcohol or drug test, etc.


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