abusive discharge

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Abusive discharge is a terminated employee’s claim that their termination breached some public policy of the state.  Abusive discharge claims are often brought when no claim for breach of contract or violation of a statute can be alleged. Thus, the employee attempts to show that the termination violated a general public policy espoused by the state.  

See e.g., Stevenson v. Superior Court 941 P.2d 1157 (1997).

Compare to: Wrongful termination

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team