Tennessee and Mississippi are at-will states, meaning employers are free to dismiss their workers without cause at any time. However, the law creates exceptions to the at-will status. Employers may not discriminate against employees in their termination decisions. Employers may not retaliate against a whistleblower. Employers also may not intimidate employees who file workers’ compensation claims or otherwise exercise their legal rights.
Johnson & Bennett advocates for the rights of workers to be treated fairly in West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. Our lawyers have a proven track record of helping victims of discrimination, harassment, wage theft and wrongful termination. We have won multiple million-dollar verdicts, earning lifetime membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.*
We challenge your wrongful termination and pursue all legal remedies available to you under state and federal laws. We represent you at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Labor Department administrative proceedings. We are also strategic negotiators who can often reach a timely, equitable settlement. When appropriate, our assertive trial lawyers argue your claim before jury and judge.
Tennessee Laws that Prohibit Wrongful Termination
The Tennessee Human Rights Act & Tennessee Disability Act codifies Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1968 and 1972, the Pregnancy Amendment of 1978 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The THRA expands protections available under federal legislation.
Federal discrimination and wrongful termination laws cover employers with 15 or more employees, whereas the Tennessee legislation covers employers with eight to 14 employees.
The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) maintain a work-sharing agreement in which they cooperated on cases.
At the outset, our attorneys determine which forum is best for you claim. We may also cross-file, which authorizes the EEOC and the THRC to both consider your claim.
Mississippi Wrongful Termination
You can also decide whether to file under state or federal protection in Mississippi. Provisions that offer whistleblower protection are included in the Civil Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Whistleblowers Protection Act, among others.
You are also protected under Mississippi law if you are fired for reporting your employer’s unlawful conduct. However, you are not protected for refusing to take a drug test, not proficiently performing your job duties, acting unlawfully or interfering with business operations, even if you had a valid claim for discrimination or harassment.
A common defense tactic is to claim the termination was justified. Our attorneys skillfully refute these claims to prove that your termination is linked to retaliation or discrimination.
Remedies for Wrongful Termination
You should not delay in retaining legal counsel. Wrongful termination claims are governed by a statute of limitations that requires quick action. By waiting, you may waive your rights to recover such damages as:
- Back pay
- Lost future earnings
- Job reinstatement
- Liquidated damages
- Legal fees and costs
Protect Yourself from Wrongful Firing
If you were wrongfully fired from your job, Johnson & Bennett can help. In order to speak with the attorney to review your case, we require an upfront $100 consultation fee. This is limited to no more than one hour of the attorney's time. We represent most clients on contingency, meaning you pay no attorneys’ fees until we recover monetary damages. Some claims involve recovery of equitable or non-monetary relief, such as reinstatement, a promotion, or similar type of recovery. These claims are handled on a hourly basis. Emails, calls, web contacts, or other means used to reach us are handled in a timely manner.
*Disclaimer: Results are not typical.