Having been discharged from employment can be quite discouraging. This is especially true when you feel as though your employer isn’t within their rights to terminate you. If it turns out that you’re terminated illegally, you may wonder whether you can file a case against your employer. To have a quick overview of the essential things to keep in mind after being wrongfully terminated, here’s what you need to know about the subject matter.
Wrongful Termination: The Essentials
In most cases, wrongful termination happens when an employee is illegally terminated from their employment. In other words, the discharge may not be founded with authorized and just reasons making it unfair on the part of the employee. For instance, unlawful reasons for termination include:
- Breach of written employment contracts
- Breach of anti-sexual harassment laws
- Violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws
- Violation of labor laws particularly collective bargaining laws
- Employer retaliation
While employment laws vary from one state to another, some violations mentioned above carry legal consequences. If you believe you’ve unlawfully lost your job, you may consider some legal remedies to protect your employment rights.
Wrongful Termination: Understanding the Legal Process
As stated earlier, wrongful termination can be dealt with legally. This means the terminated employee has the right to bring legal action against the employer. It’s, therefore, a must that both the employee and employer should retain counsel to protect their rights and reputations. Although no specific law protects wrongfully terminated employees, the topic of wrongful termination, on the other hand, is covered by several federal or state laws. Here’s are some legal options to consider when dealing with wrongful termination.
- Negotiating a severance package – Most of the time, giving of severance pay by the employer to an employee isn’t required except when the employment contract or employee handbook stipulate it.
- However, the employee may have the right to negotiate with the employer for a severance package in exchange for their waiver to file any legal claims against the latter.
- So if you and your lawyer have decided to push through with the process of negotiating your severance pay, you should then plan your strategies to ensure a most positive outcome on your end.
- Filing a wrongful termination claim – One of the best ways to safeguard your personal interests is to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against the employer who terminated you unlawfully.
- However, winning the suit can be difficult without documentation. Thus, it’s always a perfect idea to gather documents and paperwork about your employment termination.
- This is why hiring an experienced lawyer who can assist in navigating your case toward a favorable result is of utmost importance. In such instances, never hesitate to cooperate with your counsel so they may be able to support you throughout the litigation.
- While the employment discharge, in this case, is illegal, damages can be awarded to the employee upon prevailing in a wrongful termination suit. These include back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief and even attorney’s fees.
- Moreover, these monetary awards will depend upon the circumstances of your cases, which is why don’t forget to disclose everything to your lawyer.
Wrongful Termination: Things To Do After Being Terminated
When you’ve been wrongfully terminated, here are some steps you can take to improve your situation:
- If possible, be familiar with the terms and conditions of your employment contract.
- Review the reasons for your termination.
- Be sure all agreements regarding termination have been put in writing.
- Get a copy of your personnel file.
- Know who decided to terminate you.
- Take note of your employer’s promises and collect evidence of those promises as much as you can.
- Follow your company’s post-employment procedures.
- Contact an employment lawyer for legal advice and representation (if possible).
Dealing with wrongful termination is an overwhelming experience in the first place. If you’ve been fired beyond reasons, an attorney can help explain your legal options and recommend whether a wrongful termination claim or a severance package will be more advantageous to your case. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that having a counsel by your side can help you make an informed decision regarding your employment situation.
Pauline Griggs is an experienced law and automotive writer currently writing on another large project. Her know-how on writing for more than 10 years has allowed her to insert nuggets of useful wisdom to her readers. Pauline is not just a lawyer, she is also an artist. She loves painting nature when she has free time.