Employers in the state of Alaska do not need a reason to fire an employee, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Alaska is an “at-will” state which means an employer or an employee can terminate employment at any given time. Therefore, if an employer had to let go of an employee due to budget cuts but the employee assumed he/she had a secure position, the employee may not have a case against the employer as he/she did not violate any wage or hour law.
However, before an employee assumes they were just a victim of the state’s “at-will” law, they should consult with an Alaska employment law attorney for legal advice. When certain circumstances exist, an employer could be held liable for wrongfully terminating an employee, although an employment law lawyer would be the professional who is qualified to determine this.
Examples of When an Employee May Have a Civil Case Against Their Employer
- The employer fired the employee because he/she was on FMLA leave. While an employer is permitted to lay off an employee who is on FMLA leave so as long as they can “show that the employee would not have been employed at the time of reinstatement,” they cannot fire an employee because they have taken unpaid leave Source: [U.S. Department of Labor]. If an employee in Alaska has been laid off because they took FMLA leave, they should consult with an employment law attorney in Alaska to discuss their legal rights.
- The employer fired an employee because of their race, gender, religious belief, etc. It is against the law for an employer to fire an employee when the act is a form of discrimination.
- The employer fired an employee because he/she refused to violate the law. If an employee refused to violate a state or federal law and was fired because of this, they may have a viable case against their employer.
- The firing was a form of retaliation. If an employee refused to complete an act that was unethical or a violation of workplace practices and their employer fired them because of this, they could be held liable for wrongful termination.
Although employers in Alaska can fire an employee at their discretion, they cannot do so when the termination of employment is a violation of a labor law or an employee’s rights. If an employee in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, or any other city in Alaska believes they were wrongfully terminated and would like to learn more about their legal rights, they can contact USAttorneys.com USAttorneys.com can help them locate an Alaska employment law firm in their area that can assess their case and determine if they have the grounds to file a civil lawsuit against their employer.