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Severance agreement complicates wrongful termination suit

While the following story did not happen here in Miami, or even in the state of Florida, it still brings up the important topic of wrongful termination, and how this area can be fraught with complications.

Though the story is short on details, here is the gist of it: a woman was fired from her job, but as a part of the termination, she accepted a six-month severance package from the city she worked for in Idaho. This firing took place in 2012, and the woman claims the only reason she was fired was because she revealed that a councilman was harassing people. There were no stated reasons from the city as to why the woman was fired.

The woman subsequently sued the city for violating, saying that it violated a state law that protected public employees rights. However, a judge threw out the wrongful termination case because the woman accepted that severance package, which absolved the city from blame.

If a company or employer fires you, they have to have a legitimate reason for it. If they base the firing on illegal reasons -- may it be discrimination or for retaliation or anything in between -- then they can assume liability for that firing and any wrongful termination lawsuit that results from it.

Of course, there are many complicating factors involved in firings, as this story shows. If you are fired and you believe there is more to it than it just being a business decision, consult an attorney as soon as possible.

Source: KTVB, "Wrongful termination lawsuit against Sun Valley dismissed," Associated Press, Jan. 14, 2015

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