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Whether an employee has been wrongfully terminated depends on a variety of circumstances, but [the termination may be] illegal under both state and federal laws if the employee was fired for discriminatory reasons, such as his or her race, sex, age, national origin, disability, and in some states, sexual orientation. It’s also wrongful termination if an employer fires you in retaliation for exercising your civil rights. For instance, if you file a claim of discrimination with the HR department, you can’t be fired for it in return. Another common basis for wrongful termination claims occurs when someone is fired after blowing the whistle on their employer, in other words, reporting unlawful or unethical practices of the employer. Finally, an employer can’t violate its own contract or employee handbook. If an employee is terminated in violation of his or her employment contract or perhaps in violation of a company policy or procedure, then that could be a basis for a wrongful termination claim as well. Workers who’ve been wrongfully fired from their jobs or wrongfully forced to resign have important legal rights, and if they can successfully prove their claim in court, can be entitled to damages such as lost wages and emotional distress.