In an “at will” employment state such as South Carolina, companies can fire you for any or no reason. They can fire you for a bad reason. They just can’t fire you for an illegal one.
The illegal ones include discrimination and retaliation for filing a claim or lawsuit. You can’t be fired if you miss work for jury duty or for an absence covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You can’t be fired for “whistleblowing” – reporting an illegal act – or for refusing to break that law for your employer. In South Carolina, you can’t be fired if you conscientiously object to working on Sunday or for using tobacco product.
If you believe you were fired illegally, you might have cause for a wrongful termination lawsuit. At Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, our attorneys have long track records of protecting those whose jobs have been taken. Our skilled lawyers can help as you try to recover lost wages and benefits. We can push for other relief, such as reinstatement or severance pay.
Burnette Shutt & McDaniel’s employment lawyers have defended employees in the public and private sectors. We can pursue justice in a range of cases, from terminations contested under civil rights law to firings that violated written contracts. We are ready to fight discrimination based on race, age, religion, gender identity, color, nation origin, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation.
Sometimes, wrongful termination cases begin with a grievance or appeals process. Though many employees are tempted to try to handle this stage themselves, in part out of fear it will look bad if they “lawyer up,” that’s usually not advisable. Anything an employee says even at this level can, and usually will, be used against them later. An inadvertent misstatement early on can be hard to overcome later.
If discrimination is involved, the case likely will start with a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission. In other instances, the case will proceed in court from the start.
No matter where you’re contesting your firing, our employment lawyers and civil rights attorneys have the legal skills and knowledge you need. From gathering crucial documents to making the strongest possible arguments, you are in skilled legal hands with Burnette Shutt & McDaniel.