In this article, we discuss the employment termination laws in Iowa and answer the following questions:
Getting fired from a job is rarely a pleasant experience. Often employees wonder if they were fired for a reason other than their performance, especially those who feel they’ve performed well at work and their employer gives them vague reason at the time of termination. Confusion and frustration can lead the employee to conclude that he or she was wrongfully terminated. But what is wrongful termination? When we look closer at the law we find that not every firing that feels wrong or unwarranted is against the law in Iowa. In fact, the majority of terminations are well within the legal rights of Iowa employers. Wrongful termination describes a situation when an employer fires an employee for reasons against public and/or company policy.
Iowa is an “At-Will” employment state, meaning that an employer or employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason (or no reason at all), and without prior notice. While this may sound unfair towards an employee, most states are “At-Will” employment states as it provides protection for both the employee and employer. Companies that want to give employees more security in order to attract better talent can always opt to provide a contract that stipulates the employee should be able to remain employed as long as certain guidelines are followed and termination cannot occur without adequate steps taken to rectify performance issues, as long as those issues do not violate the employment agreement. Some of these same stipulations are seen with Contract Employees.
Contract Employees are different from At-Will employees in that they are hired by a company for a predetermined amount of time and compensation. Under these employment relationships, the employer is not responsible for providing employer benefits such as taxes, worker’s compensation, Social Security, etc. They are similar to the employment relationship between an independent contractor and an employer.
Understanding what reasons a firing would be deemed illegal in Iowa is the first step in determining wrongful termination. Reasons for firing an employee that could result in a valid wrongful termination claim fall into one of four categories:
If you feel your termination falls under any one of these scenarios you should immediately seek the guidance of an experienced employment attorney. They can review your claim and help you understand if it holds merit. From there they can assist you in the filing process and bring a lawsuit against your former attorney. You may be able to have your job reinstated, or in most cases recover compensatory damages. If you have any questions about wrongful termination give us a call at 630-324-6666.
O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in: