Compensation for Unjustified Dismissal in the United States

In the same way, the worker can renounce his position without prior notice or any obligation to the company. A custom is to pre-visit two weeks in advance, but the worker can even submit his resignation and go the same day to another job.

The cases of discrimination of any kind or if there is a signed employment contract are exceptions for which compensation can be given for the dismissal.

There is no severance payment or payment for seniority.

When can you ask for compensation for dismissal?

There are some cases in which a worker can open a claim for unjustified dismissal against his employer. This claim occurs mainly if the worker suspects that they were dismissed for illegal reasons or due to retaliation by the employer.

Although the process is not straightforward and requires a lawyer, here are some reasons why you could demand compensation. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

1. Work accident that results in physical injury

In the United States, the law requires working in a safe environment, where appropriate measures are taken to protect the health and integrity of workers. Therefore, in the case of an accident at work, the employer must provide money and medical attention to the worker if he suffers a severe injury that leaves him disabled. The payment can be 2/3 of the salary while it is low.

There are cases of employers who take advantage of the ignorance of the laws by the worker. After an accident where there is an injury, they are dismissed without providing the compensation service or the appropriate medical care. This type of dismissal is illegal and is considered unjustified.

Another case is when, after a temporary discharge by accident, the employer informs the employee that he is dismissed.

Also, if the employer is disqualified for the position he performs, but instead of relocating him, he is dismissed.

In this case, the worker could obtain a life pension or a single payment for permanent disability.

2. Family emergencies or absence due to illness

If a worker needs to be absent due to things like a family mourning or medical emergency of a family member, the employer cannot fire him. If it is done, it is considered unjustified.

The same applies if you cannot show up for work because of illness and leave or leave because of it.

3. Fulfillment of citizen duties

An employer cannot fire a worker for taking time to exercise suffrage when there are elections. Neither may do so if the person has been called to serve as a juror in a legal case.

4. Pregnancy and permits for prenatal care

When a woman is in a state of pregnancy, she requires attention to regular medical appointments. If the employer decides to dismiss you, for this reason, it is also considered an unfair dismissal.

5. Discrimination of any kind

It is when the termination of the employment relationship is given for reasons of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, origin, disability, or any other type of discrimination towards a minority. This cause of dismissal is severe because the bias is awful and damages the name of the companies. If a removal at work is found to be discriminatory, the employer may be liable to severe sanctions. Also, you must compensate the worker.

6. Labor retaliation by a superior

This retaliation occurs when a worker demands payment for overtime, not compensated, and the employer decides to dismiss him. Also, when the rest or mealtime to which one is entitled has been demanded.

The same applies to cases of sexual harassment. If a worker reports a case of proven harassment, he is entitled to compensation from the company. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

7. Risky work or if the worker resigns for just cause

There are cases in which working conditions represent a risk to the employee’s integrity or when there are causes that legitimize a resignation. For example, if there is a modification of the terms of initial hiring without mutual agreement with the worker.

Another instance occurs if the worker is transferred to another branch or agency—which harms the worker or hinders his arrival. Or if the employer violates state or federal laws or fails to comply with the terms of the contract and dismisses the worker for demanding compliance.


A dismissal for the above reasons may involve severe sanctions, including statutory penalties or payment for damages to the worker.

Also, it could include payments for lost wages, medical services not received, fees for representation expenses, expenses incurred by the worker (such as travel expenses), social security benefits, among others.

Among the arrangements that can be agreed upon, you can also request the reinstatement of the charge. This reinstatement can be either with the salary and conditions that were available or with the adaptations reasonably necessary. These changes may include promotion to a higher position if it has been unfairly denied.

Also, if there is an unjustified dismissal, you have the right to have your vacation, savings account, utilities, etc., liquidated.

Causes that justify dismissal without the possibility of compensation

You must bear in mind that there are cases that legitimize the dismissal of a worker. It is therefore vital that you take care of your obligations and not fall into one of the following faults:

1. Proven incompetence

In this scenario, the worker cannot perform his duties competently and has been given sufficient opportunities to improve.

2. Unexcused absences

Being late repeatedly without justification is considered an unexcused absence. When this happens frequently, the employer can fire the worker. Health situations or family emergencies only justify absences. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

3. Physical violence

Blows, shouts, or verbal abuse towards a partner or superior falls under the category of physical violence. This behavior is reason for immediate dismissal.

4. Drugs or alcohol

Presenting yourself to work under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics may be grounds for dismissal. Above all, if this is affected by productive activity and the normal development of work.

If prescribed medications cause the effects, the worker must indicate this to his employer so that other measures can be taken.

5. Immoral acts or violation of company regulations

Every company has a code or standards of compliance and ethics for employees. The workers must have explicit set norms. If they are established, and the employee fails to comply, it is sufficient reason to dismiss him.

This is important if it is about cases of harassment or discrimination, or immoral acts within the company. Also, it can be applied if corporate secrets or sensitive information about the company are revealed.

6. Illegal acts within the workplace

Theft, extraction of work items without authorization, embezzlement, sabotage, intentional damage to the property, work tools, etc. they are grounds for immediate dismissal and without any possibility of compensation.

7. Information falsification

Presenting false information in the curriculum as titles, knowledge, previous jobs, false references, or fake documents is an indisputable reason for dismissal.

In conclusion

If you consider that you have been unfairly dismissed, you can seek advice from a skilled labor lawyer to help you.

Remember that any accusation that justifies a dismissal must be proved. An employer cannot fire you in retaliation for demanding your rights.

A piece of advice, it is important to encourage the habit of saving for any eventuality, because as in most jobs the contract is at will, the dismissal can be for no other reason than the desire to continue the employment relationship no longer.

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