How Do Employers Try to Hide Wrongful Termination?

glasses on employment termination paper pen

Upon termination, an employee may perceive the action as unjust. However, it’s essential to understand the distinctions between feeling wronged and the occurrence of wrongful termination by an employer. Please continue reading to learn the tactics employers use to hide wrongful termination and contact a proficient New York Employee Rights Lawyer if you believe your employee rights have been violated in New York. 

How Might an Employer Try to Hide Wrongful Termination?

New York is an “at-will” employment state, meaning that employers can terminate their employees at any time for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. Essentially, they cannot fire you for an illegal reason, also known as wrongful termination. Unfortunately, many companies wrongfully discharge their employees. Some of the most common examples of how employers try to hide wrongful termination include the following:

  • Downsizing: When a company is experiencing financial trouble or has recently merged, it may resort to downsizing. While it’s perfectly legal to conduct layoffs, some companies may use downsizing to hide their wrongful terminations. For instance, an employer may use downsizing to hide age or race discrimination. They may believe that by firing so many people, they won’t draw as much attention as they would if they had selected a specific employee. If a few employees at your workplace are from a particular age group close to retirement age as part of a downsizing effort, it could indicate discrimination.
  • Progressive discipline: Many employers delay the actual discharge of an employee to hide wrongful termination by citing performance issues. An employer may start enforcing rules against an employee soon after they, for example, request reasonable accommodations or report harassment that they don’t enforce against other employees. In most cases, the employee had no prior issues. However, the employer cannot fire the employee immediately as it will look suspicious. Instead, they use progressive discipline and create documentation of poor employee performance so that they will have enough “evidence” to fire the employee in the future.
  • Eliminating your position: While some roles within a company are genuinely no longer needed, eliminating an employee’s position is another way employers attempt to hide wrongful termination. They may eliminate an employee’s position, claiming it was unnecessary or due to restructuring. However, they could rename the role with a new title and hire a new employee to replace you. This could provide them with an actual reason for your termination so they can avoid being sued.

How Can I Fight Back?

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job, it’s crucial to understand your rights and take the necessary steps to hold your employer accountable. It’s best to collaborate with an experienced New York employee rights lawyer who can help you pursue legal action against this labor law. It can be difficult to prove wrongful termination. You will need evidence that your employer fired you for an illegal reason to prove unlawful termination. Our dedicated legal team at Bell Law Group, PLLC, can help you file a wrongful discharge lawsuit to receive lost wages, benefits, and other losses. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.



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