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Was the Tuscan cruise ship captain wrongfully terminated?

Does an error at work necessarily mean termination in Missouri? Maybe? When an employee makes an error, there is always the possibility of termination, but the termination cannot be based off of something that would qualify it as a wrongful termination. A wrongful termination is a termination that is unlawful because it was based on discrimination or another prohibited labor action. To determine if an employment termination constitutes a wrongful termination, the determination is made based on the specific circumstances of the termination.

Almost everyone heard about the cruise ship that sank off the coast of Tuscany earlier this year. The cruise ship sank after it reportedly ran aground. The collision caused the death of 32 people who were aboard the ship. The captain of the ship, who is currently facing criminal charges for the crash, has filed a wrongful termination suit against his former employer.

The ship captain was terminated following the catastrophic accident. Although the wrongful termination lawsuit has been formally filed, the terms of the captain's exit from the company were not publically released. Regardless of any preconceived notions about the captain's employment termination, the captain has a legal right to challenge the basis of his employment termination through a wrongful termination lawsuit.

When an employee is terminated in Missouri, the employer is not obligated to provide an at-will employee with a cause for dismissal. The fact that an employer is not required to provide a cause for dismissal does not mean the termination can be for a discriminatory reason. If an employee was wrongfully terminated, the employee may be eligible for damages that can include back pay or employment reinstatement.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Costa Concordia captain sues for wrongful termination," Hugo Martin, Oct. 13, 2012

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