The rights of an employee following termination are dependent on the cause for termination. When considering taking legal action against a former employer, the employee may or may not have many rights.
According to the at-will doctrine, an employer has the right to terminate an employee at any time without notice and the employee may also leave the employer without notice.
However, employers and employees are constrained from “at-will” by such things as employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, anti-discrimination laws, and laws that may limit the “at-will” arrangement in some Instances.
An employee has a right against wrongful termination. Although an employer may dismiss an employee at any time, he may not do this illegally.
Wrongful termination happens when an employer fires an employee due to factors such as race, sex, gender, pregnancy or religion; or when an employee engages in collective bargaining or files a complaint against the employer. The employee has the right to file a lawsuit against the employer in the event of wrongful termination.
Due to the employment at will, an employer is not obliged to notify an employee of a termination. However, if there is an employment contract or employee handbook requiring notification, then an employer must provide the employee with a notice.
In circumstances such as lay-offs, employment laws require employers to notify employees of an impending termination. According to the Labor laws, an employer must also provide a notice informing the employee his right to access employment group health benefits, even after termination.
An employee has a right to his final pay in the event of a termination. An employee may also negotiate a severance payment plan with his employer. A severance package is a payment made by an employer to an employee in exchange that the employee will not bring legal claims against the employer.
However, this severance does not have to take place when there is no such agreement in an employment contract or employee handbook. Severance payment is largely a remedy initiated through the employer’s volition.