Wrongful Termination

Oregon Wrongful Discharge or Termination

Oregon law prohibits terminations for illegal reasons, which are called wrongful terminations or unlawful employment practices. Oregon employers say that Oregon law provides for “employment at-will,” which means an employer may fire an employee for any or no reason. That is true, so long as the reason is not an illegal reason.

Illegal reasons for firing an employee include:

  • Retaliation for opposing an unlawful practice
  • Whistleblowing which means to report what the employee honestly believes is a violation of law.
  • Not giving in to sexual harassment.
  • Reporting patient mistreatment in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
  • Employee efforts to act collectively, including efforts to unionize.
  • Complaining about violations of safety regulations.
  • Filing a claim for workers’ compensation.
  • Making a claim for wages.
  • Fulfilling some societal duty, such as serving on jury duty or refusing to testify falsely.

Legal reasons for firing an employee include:

  • Boss does not like you.
  • Boss decided she likes Joe over you.
  • Boss is stupid and fired you even though you are the best worker.

In other words, an employer does not have to have good cause to fire you, unless you have a contract or unless you are a government employee. The employer merely has to avoid illegal reasons.

The above is just a sampling of reasons, not an exhaustive list. If you think an Oregon employer fired you for an illegal reason and you’d like to discuss your termination with an Oregon attorney, then feel free to call me at 503-665-4234.