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Employment Wrongful Termination: What is Pretext?

September 25, 2018

You may have never heard of the word pretext. It is one of those legal jargon words that employees and everyday people don’t use. What does pretext mean? Pretext is legally defined as a reason for an action which is false, and offered to cover up true motives or intentions. For instance, “My boss lied about why I was fired;” or even, “my employer blamed my demotion on poor performance that I was unaware of.”

When an employer lies about the reason an employee was fired, terminated or otherwise retaliated against, it does not necessarily create a claim, but it does give you reason to ask our Florida Employment Attorneys at Whittel & Melton to look into it. In order to show that the employer’s reason is a pretext it must be demonstrated that the their explanation is not credible. One thing to note is that a simple mistake made by the employer is not a pretext, rather a pretext is a bogus, phony excuse used to cover up the real illegal reason.

An employer will usually not tell an employee they are firing the for an illegal reason. They will make up an arbitrary reason for termination, and the illegal reason will have to be proved through circumstantial evidence. Even though an employer may provide a pretext that seems valid on paper, this does not mean the employee does not have a case.

If you were recently terminated out of the blue and for a random reason, it cannot hurt to let our Florida Wrongful Termination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton investigate on your behalf. Even if you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call us today at 866-608-5529 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We are dedicated to protecting employees rights and resolving employment disputes related to discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation.