Indiana is an at-will state, which means that employers can fire an employee at any time, for almost any reason. Because of this, employers often take advantage, firing employees for reasons that aren’t actually legal, such as discrimination.
While Indiana is at-will, there are still many laws in place to protect employees from being wrongfully terminated. Wrongful termination can mean a lot of different things: an employer breaks a contract regarding employment, an employee is fired due to discrimination, the firing took place after an employee refused to complete an illegal act or failed to come to work due to a government sanction, such as jury duty, and more.
If you are working in Indiana, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the laws put in place to protect Indiana workers.
Title 7 is the federal law that protects employees from being discriminated against based on race, sex, religion or gender. This is one of the most important laws and is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While sometimes hard to prove, those who feel they are being discriminated against should keep detailed notes and hire an attorney to help them prove the violation of Title 7.
You also have the ADA, which is the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted in 1990 and protects people who have a disability. This includes people who got hurt at work and have worker’s compensation or those who have an employer that doesn’t accommodate you when you have worker’s compensation, which is a direct violation of the ADA.
The FMLA is the Family Medical Leave Act. It can be used once you’ve been working for a company that has 50 or more employees for at least a year. If you or a close family member has a medical event, you can take leave or intermittent leave if you have a disability. This protects workers from being discriminated against for the medical event and being fired after they return from leave.
Indiana has a retaliation law, which means you can’t retaliate against an employee for doing something lawful, like getting workers compensation or filing a claim with EEOC.
If you have been wrongfully discriminated against or fired for reasons you feel are against one of these laws, contact an experienced attorney at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.