Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination means that an employee has been terminated based upon a legally-protected reason, such as race:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Disability (Including pregnancy)
  • Religion,
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Another protected reason

It can also mean termination for taking protected actions, including filing a worker’s compensation claim, whistleblowing, or making/filing a complaint about sexual harassment. We frequently represent clients who have been retaliated against, often for speaking up about illegal activity.

At law, there is no separately recognized claim for “wrongful termination” by itself.  Instead, there must be a termination linked to an illegal reason or action in order for the termination to be “wrongful.” In a lawsuit, the illegal reason or action will need to be specified.

If you have been wrongfully or illegally terminated from a job, or the victim of retaliation, you need an experienced employment lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Our firm is tenacious in protecting the rights of wrongfully terminated employees, and demanding full compensation on their behalf.

Settlements & Verdicts

Wrongful termination case for a midwife against a local hospital.

Helped to get job back for female employee improperly terminated by a hotel chain.

Wrongful termination in violation of public policy case for a man fired after he complained of illegal activity within the company.

All Settlements & Verdicts

What Types of Termination are Not Wrongful?


In Massachusetts, as in other states, employees who are not part of a collective bargaining agreement or under a contract are considered to be subject to “employment at will.”  This means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, or for no reason at all, except for a reason that it legally protected.


Laws Protecting Workers from Discrimination – Federal and State Law

Employees should know that certain employment laws limit the circumstances under which an employee may be lawfully terminated. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based upon race, gender, religion, or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was enacted to protect employees age 40 years or over from suffering unfair disadvantages and stereotypes. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to ensure that employees with disabilities or handicaps were provided with equal opportunities to participate in the workforce.

Massachusetts has similar laws outlawing employment discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or national origin, age, handicap, and sexual orientation.

Under both state and federal law, it is illegal to terminate an employee for reporting unlawful discrimination, and employers cannot retaliate against employees for whistle-blowing activities, which are considered protected activity. Recent cases have shown employees who have been terminated for reporting a co-worker’s unlawful behavior; for reporting violations of safety laws; or for refusing to lie when demanded by the employer are also wrongful. In addition, employees who work on a commission basis will have a valid claim if they have been terminated because the employer is trying to avoid its obligation to pay the worker for work that has already been performed and monies that have been earned.

What if My Boss is Not Fair?  What if they Prefer Someone Else Over Me?

Employers do not need to be “fair.”  They can decide any day that they want to fire you – maybe just because they are in a bad mood that day.  It doesn’t even matter if you are doing an outstanding job, and can prove it.

Employers cannot fire you if their primary motivation is illegal, such as if you become pregnant and they don’t want to pay for maternity leave, or if you are older and the company wants to bring in younger workers, or if you complain about sexual harassment.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Legal Remedies Are Available After Wrongful Termination?

The results in a wrongful termination case can vary based on the specifics of the case. However, common legal remedies in these situations include monetary compensation to cover attorney costs, job search costs, emotional distress, and lost wages.

What Should I Do If I Think I’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?

If you believe your employer unlawfully dismissed you, it’s important to consult an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will evaluate the specifics of your situation to determine your legal options. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, your lawyer can help you take the next steps toward pursuing justice.

Do I Need an Employment Lawyer’s Help in a Wrongful Termination Case?

While you aren’t required to hire an employment lawyer, it’s a wise idea to enlist their help. Massachusetts employment law is intricate and can be confusing for those without an in-depth understanding of it. So, it’s helpful to enlist a skilled employment lawyer’s help to navigate the case and advocate for your interests.

What Evidence Do I Need in a Wrongful Termination Case?

The evidence you’ll need to prove you were wrongfully terminated can vary depending on your situation, but it may include employment contracts, email correspondence, records of discriminatory incidents, and witness statements. If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully terminated, collect as much evidence as you can.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you have 300 days after the date of the termination to file a claim. If you don’t file your claim within this timeframe, you’ll be unable to pursue legal action for it in the future. So, it’s important to act quickly and contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer as soon as possible.


Client Review

“I had a very positive experience with this firm. They are patient and willing to work with anyone who needs help. Very knowledgeable and friendly, would recommend for anyone who is looking for legal help/advice.

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How We Help Those Who Have Been Wrongly Terminated

At the outset, after learning about the nature of your termination, we will want to identify what illegal reason(s) may have been the primary motivating factor for your termination. Then, we can advise you as to your options, and how we can help.

Call us for a free telephone consultation and to learn about your options if you have been wrongly terminated.

Can We Help You?

Call 617.559.1530 or complete the form below.


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