If you believe you have been fired from your job unfairly, you may wonder if you have any legal recourse against your Iowa employer. The answer is, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your termination.
The state of Iowa is an at-will state, which means that an employer has great latitude in terminating an employee. An employer can fire an employee for any reason with the exception of cases where an employee has contractual protections or if the termination is for a reason prohibited by law or violates public policy.
Most workers are not covered by contracts. Although, there are cases where individual contracts offered to executives or other professionals may offer protection against employment termination. For other workers, collective bargaining agreements sometimes limit an employer’s right to discharge or discipline an employee also.
Fortunately, there are federal and state laws that protect workers from termination based on discrimination. Employers are prohibited from firing an employee based on race, color, creed, origin, age, sex, disability and more. Furthermore, an employee is protected from retaliation, including losing their job, when making a complaint regarding such harassment in the workplace.
Sometimes employees are illegally terminated over issues that violate public policy also. For example, workers who take FMLA leave, file a workers’ compensation claim for a workplace injury or attend jury duty should not be terminated for doing so. Employers are prohibited form discharging an employee for exercising a legal right.
Although Iowa is an at-will state, the courts require employers to follow the law. Employees with contractual protections and employees that are protected under the law or public policies may have grounds to dispute a negative employment action. If you have been illegally fired from your job, it is important to seek the help of an experienced employment law attorney. Contact the Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help if you have been wrongfully terminated or if you are a victim of workplace harassment or discrimination. Call today 563-355-6478.