Losing employment is no fun for anyone. But sometimes, the terminated employee might have a sneaking suspicion that there was more than just their work performance or the company’s downsizing policy at play. If you suspect that your ex-employer had a discriminatory motive behind their decision to fire you, you might just have the grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Illegal motives for termination
New Mexico has anti-discrimination laws in place that determine what an employer can and cannot do when it comes to hiring, firing and disciplining their employees. There are also federal statutes that prohibit the same discriminatory practices.
Under these statutes, an employer cannot fire someone because of their race, age, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy status, medical condition and so forth. If an employer does fire someone for one of these illegal reasons, that employee has the option of fighting back with a wrongful termination suit.
What you can do about it
If you bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer, their attorney will most likely try to prove that their justification for firing you was based on a legal reason.
For example, they might allege that they fired you because of your performance history or tardiness. They might even try to allege that they fired you because of something that had nothing to do with you, such as changes in the company’s financial situation that necessitated downsizing.
Your attorney’s job will be to prove that the decision to terminate you was not based on any of these reasons, but was instead based on one of your protected characteristics. This will be much easier to accomplish if you can point to past communications and actions from your employer towards you or other employees that demonstrate discriminatory intent.
It can be awful to suffer the effects of any form of discrimination. Luckily, if you lost your job because of it, you have recourses available to you.