Have you been recently fired by your employer? If you believe that it was unfair and unjustified, you have the right to file for a wrongful termination suit.
Wrongful termination is a situation when an employee is dismissed for illegal reasons. Most establishments observe ‘at-will’ rules in employment, which means employees can quit their jobs any time and employers can fire an employee any time. However, this power may be restricted, depending on your state law, to the following grounds: discrimination, breach of contract, retaliation, wage and hour violations, etc.
In general, dismissal from your employer may drastically affect your career and finances. But you have the right to take action. In court, you may even be compensated for your losses, which may help ease any financial burden the sudden job loss may have caused. If you want to know what to do if you were wrongfully terminated, here are five important steps:
- Stay Calm And Be Professional
Sometimes your emotions may get in the way after such an announcement. Take in the dismissal. Do not convey any feelings of bitterness and anger. Stay calm and accept your employer’s decision. Also, try not to make any knee-jerk reactions like venting on social media or sending your employer a hate email.
Be professional when facing rejection or dismissal. Keep in mind that your actions might get you on the wrong side when you file a suit. Such behavior will not reverse your employer’s decision. Therefore, think before you make any action that your employer might use against you. Additionally, adhere to the necessary post-employment policies. Return anything that belongs to the company—cars, laptops, or electronics.
- Understand Your Dismissal
Next, understand why you were fired. Your employer or a letter of dismissal will give you the reason, which should be legal. This reason determines whether you were subjected to wrongful termination or not.
However, there are circumstances you may be aware of that may have contributed to your case of unfair dismissal. These circumstances could be racial discrimination or a case of retaliation. If you have such suspicions, further investigation may help confirm it. If you still feel like you were wrongfully terminated, then it’s time to see a legal professional.
- Consult With A Professional
When you feel that you were unfairly dismissed, it’s advisable to consult with an employee rights attorney immediately. They will help you review your contract to identify potential breaches, review federal and state laws concerning employment, and even advise you on the evidence you need to secure.
The legal process, including legal documents, can be tricky and difficult to understand. Having an attorney will help guide you throughout the process, and will help you understand the circumstances that surround your case. Also, most employers have their ways of defending a dismissal. If you don’t see a professional as soon as possible, you might end up filing a wrongful termination case when there is none, to begin with.
- Gather Your Evidence
With your attorney’s advice, gather as much evidence as possible. Keep in mind that evidence should always support your claims. These could be emails, text messages, voicemails, and photos. If there were eyewitnesses to such circumstances, you should add them as well.
Eyewitnesses will help support your case’s credibility. Also, you should write down your narrative of the events leading up to the dismissal. This includes details such as dates, names, places, and the order of events that happened. Writing your own account of the events will help your attorney organize the evidence needed in court.
- File A Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Now that you’ve gathered enough evidence, it’s time to file a lawsuit! Your attorney will fill you in with the process and the details of your case. With the evidence, they will review your case to determine if it is well-grounded or not. If not, your attorney may consider negotiation or settlement with your employer instead of taking legal action. However, you may benefit more from court trials. If it turns out to be wrongful termination, the court may grant you compensation or reinstate your position in your former employment.
- Recover From The Loss
Whatever the outcome, the trauma of losing a job will affect you and your career. If you think of it this way, this loss is an opportunity to improve yourself. Job opportunities are always out there, so don’t be afraid to open new doors. With that being said, leave the past behind and keep moving forward!
Getting dismissed at work, especially when it seems wrong or unfair, can drastically affect your career, finances, and life in general. When you find yourself in such a position, refer to these steps. Stay calm, be professional, understand why you were fired, see a professional, and gather evidence. When necessary, take immediate legal action. Remember that it is your right as an employee.