‘At-Will’ Rights or Wrongful Termination: How to Tell the Difference

Ohio is an “at-will” employment state. This means that under Ohio law, the employee and employer are both allowed to put an end to employment at any time without a reason and without warning. 

This is a point of confusion for many of our clients. We are often asked how it is possible for any employee to make a claim of wrongful termination when Ohio law states that they can be fired for any reason.

Technically, an employee can be fired for any reason, or no reason, but not an illegal reason. Illegal reason, including:

  • Discrimination: You were fired because of a protected characteristic, such as your age, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status 
  • Retaliation: You were fired because you exercised or tried to exercise your rights as an employee. Perhaps you filed a report of sexual harassment. Perhaps you took time off for medical leave or to serve on a jury.
  • Violation of Public Policy: You were fired because you exercised a legal right, you filed a complaint about something illegal you saw happening in your workplace, or you refused to do something illegal, such as lying to an IRS auditor. 

If your employer’s reason for firing you was unlawful, you will need the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer. We are here to help. Contact DeWitt Law today. We offer new clients a free case evaluation. Schedule yours by calling 614-398-2886.

The following two tabs change content below.

DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.

Latest posts by DeWitt Law (see all)

About DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.

%d bloggers like this: