If Iwas fired because I testified in a civil case against my employer, is this wrongful termination due to retaliation?

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If Iwas fired because I testified in a civil case against my employer, is this wrongful termination due to retaliation?

This is a harassment and slander suit pressed against my employer by a customer. I was approached by the customer and their attorney to write a deposition about what I witnessed. I was fired 2 hours after my employer was served the court papers that contained my deposition. Is this wrongful termination due to retaliation? If so what are the statutes pertaining to my situation? Should I speak with an employment law attorney? IN Gunnison County, CO.

Asked on October 11, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Termination of an employee engaging in a protected activity is deemed to be a "retaliatory discharge", and it is a form of wrongful termination under several federal laws. Basically, among other things, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for exercising your rights for participating in an investigation, hearing, or lawsuit about possible illegal practices by your employer. Further, your participation is protected whether or not the underlying claim of discrimination or illegal conduct is valid. 

However, proving retaliation is not easy. You must prove: (1) that you engaged in a protected activity; and (2) that activity resulted in you being fired. So, if your employer can prove a legitimate reason for firing you, then you must prove that reason was an excuse.

Based on the facts presented, you may in fact have a legitimate claim for retaliatory discharge.  At this point you should consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area.


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