Employers in Maine are required to adhere to a specific set of laws when they decide to let go of one of their workers. For instance, employers are not permitted to terminate workers on the basis of religion or nationality. If any of these laws are breached, employees have the right to take legal action against their employer.
At-will Employment in Maine
Like many other states in the U.S., Maine is an at-will employment state. Since Maine has at-will employment laws, employers are allowed to terminate an employee at any time and for any reason. Employers are also allowed to let go of an employee for no reason at all. Although this might give employers the freedom to terminate an employee as they wish, they are still required to abide by certain laws that limit their ability to fire an employee when certain circumstances are present.
Wrongful Termination in Maine
When employers wrongfully terminate an employee and disobey Maine’s at-will employment doctrine, they could find themselves in legal trouble. When an employee makes a claim that his or her employee failed to follow proper termination law and he or she develops a case, the worker may receive several different types of compensation, including punitive damages, front pay and back pay. The employee may also be permitted to go back to his or her position.
Breach of Contract: Employers who sign a contract with an employee must remember that if they violate the terms of the contract, they could end up in legal trouble. When an employment contract is in place, employers lose their right to let go of an employee for any reason and at any time. These contracts usually outline certain firing practices that must be adhered to and determine which practices should be followed during the termination process. Employment contracts can be both written and oral, so employers should be aware when they enter into either type of agreement with a worker.
Discrimination: Employers in Maine are not allowed to terminate an employee on the basis of national origin, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, color or sex. Employers are also required to protect their workers with disabilities. This means that they are not allowed to discriminate against them during the termination process, and they must also make reasonable employment accommodations for them. These laws are similar to the ones set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act, which prohibit employers from terminating an employee on the basis of citizenship status, genetic information, religion, pregnancy, age, color, ethnicity, national origin or sex.
Retaliation: Under state law in Maine and federal law, employers are not allowed to terminate an employee who asserts his or her legal rights in any way. For instance, employers are not permitted to get rid of an employee who participates in a hearing regarding unsafe or unfair work practices. Additionally, an employer would not be allowed to terminate an employer who reports discriminatory practices to the proper agency. Other protected activities include putting forth the effort to end discriminatory activities and not allowing employees to fulfill a public duty.
Public Policy: There are certain policies in Maine that are designed to prevent employers from terminating an employee who takes advantage of his or her rights. For instance, in Maine, an employee who is the victim of domestic violence is permitted to take time off of work with our without pay. This time off is meant to give the employee the time needed to prepare for and go to court proceedings, obtain necessary services to remedy a crisis and receive necessary medical treatment. This leave can also be extended to the child, parent or spouse of the victim. Other public policies exist to protect employees called to serve on a jury and those who serve in the armed forces.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.