Wrongful Termination

Although Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, it is still possible for an employer to wrongfully terminate an employee. Even in at-will employment states, there are still some exceptions and protections that employees have under state and federal laws.

For example, an employer cannot terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons, such as race, gender, religion, age, or disability. Additionally, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for engaging in protected activities, such as whistleblowing, filing a complaint about discrimination, or taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

If an employer terminates an employee for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, the employee may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim. Employees in Massachusetts may also have legal claims for breach of contract, violation of public policy, or other legal theories.

There are many situations in which wrongful termination can occur. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Firing an employee because of discrimination against their race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, or another protected status
  • Retaliation for refusal to participate in illegal activity
  • Retaliation for engaging in protected activities
  • Retaliation for refusing sexual advances
  • Retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment
  • Retaliation for reporting illegal activity or unethical behavior
  • Retaliation for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Breach of contract

You may be entitled to:

  • Back pay, including benefits
  • Future wages and benefits
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • Legal costs

It is important to note that proving wrongful termination can be a complex legal process, and employees should consider consulting with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss their legal options. If you would like further information regarding wrongful termination in Massachusetts, or you have a specific legal issue involving wrongful termination, please call our office at (617) 921-8932 or email .

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Justin helped us reach a speedy and satisfactory resolution to a dispute with our landlord. He wrote a demand letter, advised us on negotiations, and wrote a settlement agreement. He demonstrated a strong knowledge of Massachusetts tenant rights. We appreciated his prompt and warm communications. I would gladly hire Justin again.


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Mamadi Keita

I had been sexually harassed and bullied by manager for a big company. I followed protocol to report the harassment but was faced with bullying from upper management and felt corned. I internalized all the stress which turned into anxiety, PTSD and much more mental issues for me to deal with. When the company decided not to discipline or remove the manger from my work environment but promote him I decided to look for an attorney. I called several attorneys but never got a response. I stumbled onto some positive reviews for Justin M. Murphy and decided to reach out. He immediately contacted me back that same afternoon and consulted with me via phone. He saw that my situation required immediate action and offered to take on the case. The very next day the coperation i work for received a letter of representation from him. Within 2 days, the manger was removed and they reopened investigation. Justin M. Murphy was swift, honest and consistent with what he said he would do. He laid out many options for me and allowed me to decide how I wanted to proceed with suing the company. He worked swiftly to get me a paid leave of absence and was then able to get the company to settle with me outside of court for a dollar amount close to what I initially proposed. It was a huge plus that the company paid my legal fees as he promised. I was very happy with the outcome. He was supportive, attentive and seemed like he currently genuinely cared about getting me justice. This process was mentally exhausting but he took a load off once he stepped in which allowed me to focus on my recovery. I would recommend him to anyone who is seeking justice from an employer who did them wrong.


I cant thank you enough for getting my family justice against my landlord. I tried to pay Justin M. Murphy more because he only charged me a few hundred dollars because I do not make a lot of money. He did not take the money. After nearly a year of fighting for me and my wife who has cancer and son Justin M. Murphy got my landlord to pay me over one years rent in E. Boston. He also took care of a personal injury claim because the ceiling fell on top of me, getting me more money. Im an immigrant from Ecuador and I cant thank you enough for helping my family.

Jaime Flores

I was referred to Mr. Murphy by a mutual colleague when I found myself on the receiving end of a wrongful termination. Mr. Murphy was honest, capable, knowledgeable and empathetic - everything anyone would need in a stressful situation, especially one where he/she is not sure what their rights are according to the law. He was very patient and took the time to explain the finer points of my case and he accurately presented my options and the odds of our success in pursuing litigation. He was right at every turn, and even when I was not pleased with certain aspects, he was forthcoming and pleasant. I truly cannot recommend Justin Murphy more emphatically or more enthusiastically. He's not only an excellent attorney, he's an exceptional human being and I trust him and his judgment without reservation. I'm forever in his debt.


"Guided me through the process and provided me with details as they came in. Willing to fight for me on whatever decision I made. Also very fair and down to earth. Highly recommended!"


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