Wrongful Termination

The Kentucky wrongful termination attorneys of Abney Law Office have extensive experience assisting victims of wrongful termination.

Kentucky, like most states, is an “employment-at-will” state. Unfortunately, this means that in Kentucky, you can be fired for good cause, or bad cause, or even no cause at all. But, just because Kentucky is an employment-at-will state does not mean that you can’t do anything about a wrongful termination. Under Kentucky and federal law, there are a variety of exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine.

In 1983 the Supreme Court of Kentucky first announced the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. The tort creates an exception to Kentucky’s employment-at-will doctrine. It allows for employees to bring a wrongful termination claim when an employee’s termination goes against a fundamental and well-defined public policy, as evidenced by existing law in statute or the Kentucky constitution. Three particular scenarios exist in which a termination is contrary to public policy:

  1. Where explicit legislative statements prohibit the termination.
  2. The alleged reason for the discharge was the employee’s failure or refusal to violate a law in the course of employment.
  3. When the reason for the termination was the employee’s exercise of a right conferred by well-established legislative enactment.

The employment-at-will doctrine doesn’t do anything to change legal employment protections that are already in place. You still cannot be fired for things like:

  1. A discriminatory reason based on race, religion, sex, color, disability, or status as an LGBTQI person. 
  2. Retaliation for opposing or reporting unlawful discrimination.
  3. For pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Claim.
  4. Pursuing your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act.
  5. Making a complaint regarding workplace safety to OSHA.
  6. Blowing the whistle on certain illegal conduct.
  7. Reporting patient safety abuses.

Also, the employment-at-will doctrine does alter any contractual rights you may have under an employment contract.

A wrongful termination claim can be challenging to navigate. If you think you may be the victim of wrongful termination, contact the attorneys at Abney Legal online or by phone at (502) 498-8585.