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June 4, 2024 | EmploymentLitigation

Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Connecticut?

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Ellie Sanders

Associate Attorney

In Connecticut, “wrongful termination” refers to an employee being dismissed from their job for reasons that are illegal under state or federal law.  This includes terminations that violate anti-discrimination laws (such as firing based on race, gender, age, or disability), laws protecting whistleblowers, or laws that protect employees from retaliation for engaging in legally protected activities like reporting a violation of law.  If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, an experienced employment attorney can help assess the strength of your claim and guide you on next steps.

What kind of proof do I need against my employer?

To have a viable wrongful termination claim in Connecticut, employees need to allege that their employer fired them for an illegal reason under federal and/or state law.  These illegal reasons include firing based on:

The key types of evidence to prove a wrongful termination include written communications between the employee and employer, such as emails and text messages, which might show discriminatory remarks or a sudden change in attitude after the employee engaged in a protected activity.  Employment documents are also vital; these include the employment contract, the employee handbook, any relevant company policies, and performance reviews that may indicate a record of good performance prior to the termination.  Witness statements from colleagues who observed the behavior or decisions leading to the termination can support your claim.  Additionally, documenting any inconsistencies in the employer’s termination justification or showing a pattern of similar actions towards other employees can be crucial.

I’m an at-will employee, may I still bring a wrongful termination claim?

Yes.  Connecticut is an at-will employment state, meaning that either the employer or employee can generally end the employment relationship at any time.  Still, the “at-will” rule does not allow for terminations made for illegal reasons or in violation of an employment contract.  If your employer fired you based on an illegal reason, you may bring a wrongful termination claim against your employer, even as an at-will employee.

How much does the average wrongful termination lawsuit settle for?

If you settle with an employer out of court, the settlement amount can vary widely depending on the specifics of your case.  Generally, settlements may include compensation for lost wages, benefits, emotional distress, and sometimes punitive damages if the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious.  Settlement amounts can range from modest sums to cover immediate lost wages and expenses to substantial six-figure amounts in cases involving significant discrimination or long-term damages.  The settlement can also be influenced by the strength of the evidence presented and the employer’s interest in resolving the matter discreetly.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

In Connecticut, the timeframe to file a wrongful termination lawsuit depends on the basis of the claim.  For example, claims involving discrimination must generally be filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) within 180 days of the incident.  The CHRO then conducts an investigation, which can lead to mediation or a legal right to sue in court.  Understanding these deadlines is crucial, as missing them can result in losing the right to seek legal redress.


If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, it’s important to act quickly to protect your rights.  Reach out to a member of our team to learn more about your options and whether filing a lawsuit makes sense under your specific circumstances.



Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash
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