Did you just lose your job for reasons you don’t understand? Maybe it’s time to take a moment to analyze the situation and involve the law if the situation demands it. When an employee is let go or fired in violation of the federal, state, or local laws; terms in an employment agreement; or reasons against public policy, it’s considered wrongful dismissal.
It’s against the United States Law to fire an employee because of gender, religion, race, ethnic background, or disability. Firing an employee because they lodged a legal complaint against the employer on the basis of wrong doing is also against the law. They are unlawful measures and are considered more of “retaliation.”
Dealing with legal implications
Here’s a little backstory to understand the concept of wrongful termination a little better for the benefit of those who need a little help making sense of it all. Employment in all states in America (except Montana) is considered “at-will” and is not guaranteed. As horrific as it may sound, it means your employer can terminate your employment anytime, any day, for no specific reason. As bizarre as it might sound, it’s true.
If you’re wondering . . . Yes, it’s possible that you get fired while you’re out on medical leave. Fortunately, an employee can’t be let go because of the leave itself or an underlying disability. However, if you can prove that you were laid off on the basis of racial discrimination or sexism, you can file for wrongful dismissal.
How to deal with wrongful termination responsibly
- Don’t let negative impulses take over you against your employer.
- Get in touch with a specialized lawyer who has experience in this field.
- Understand the provisions of agreement in your employment contract.
- Find out the reason for your dismissal.
- Find out on whose bequest you were let go.
- Request access to your file.
- Review promises by your employer; collect evidence of them.
- Negotiate a severance package.
- Confirm all termination related agreements and severance in writing.
- Return company property, if any, and follow standard post-employment procedures.
Investing in a credible lawyer
If you believe that your employer fired you unjustly, it’s time to invest in an established wrongful dismissal lawyer. They have the expertise and experience to clear your name professionally, and will do everything in their power to make sure justice prevails. Allow them to examine and analyze the circumstances leading to your termination. They will also find out if your employer risked breaking any aspects of the federal or state law.
To accelerate things, make sure you present your case to an attorney responsibly:
- Prepare a brief on specific events
List out important events in sequence of their occurrence, like hiring and termination dates, starting designation, current designation, recent wages, positive and negative reviews from the employer must be highlighted. Don’t discuss things that are irrelevant to the case.
Each case could be summarized in a single page in chronological format, rather than pages and pages of irrelevant information that could weaken your case.
- Collect and hand over important documents
Anything that matters ranging from your notice of termination as well as positive letters of recognition – awards, promotions, positive performance reviews matter. Negative information on the lines of counseling letters, warning letters, demotion, suspension – you would need to compile these as well and share it with your attorney.
Don’t forget to put together important email communication sent and received that suggests discrimination on the employer’s part. It could also mean that your complaints about an unlawful act were overlooked.
In the event, your case deals with disability discrimination, make sure you include medical documents listing diagnosis, treatment, and limitations, if any. Proof that you put in a request for accommodation and your employer’s response plays an important role in the case as well.
- Prepare to present your case over the phone
Just like you work a busy timeline so does your attorney. Keeping a gist of things to communicate with your attorney over the phone is good practice. It explains your situation to the attorney, and would capture their attention if you’ve done a good job of it.
The double-edged sword
Employees in the United States are considered at-will employees unless specified otherwise. It’s not just the employer who reserves the right to ask you to leave; employees can also choose to leave without notice, and for no reason. However, there are circumstances where doing this would be considered illegal as discussed earlier.
When you’re absolutely sure that your termination was wrongful dismissal, taking professional assistance is a step in the right direction. May the Force be with you.