Wrongful termination is one the most common types of employment dispute. Every year thousands of employees are subjected to wrongful termination, but are completely unaware of the correct legal course against it. Before considering about taking an action against the employer, you need to establish whether the termination was wrongful or not.
Wrongful termination is difficult to prove, because most states have an “at will” policy when it comes to employment. Under this policy, either the employee or the employer may terminate employment at any time without consequence. However, there are illegal reasons to terminate an employee. Winning a wrongful termination suit requires that you produce sufficient facts that you were terminated illegally.
If you are considering suing your employer for wrongful termination, you should first consult an employment attorney. Below are a few steps towards filing a successful claim:
Determine whether you are an at-will employee;
Review your employment contract, which should give your insight on what type of employee you are, for what reasons you may fired, and the steps you need to take to file a complaint;
File a complaint with your human resources department; and
If your filed complaint does not turn out in your favour, speak with your attorney who, if need be, will be able to push forward with your claim.
What can you do?
Start by approaching the human resource department of your company. It will be in a position to explain where you stand legally and will help resolve the issue. You can also lodge a formal complaint directly with the department and should give it adequate time to evaluate your situation and suggest a solution. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can file a court case.
In case of a violation of your contract, you can file a case in a civil court. Cases of mental harassment can be filed in the civil court as well as a criminal court, if you add the charge of criminal intimidation. Consult a lawyer to see if your case can be settled through arbitration or by a labour tribunal as this is easier and more cost-efficient.
If you decide to take the matter to court, ensure that you prepare yourself well for it. Maintain a record of all the incidents that you think were wrong or in violation of your rights. If possible, note down the date and time as well. This will be immensely useful to your lawyer, who will be able to ascertain if you have a case at all. You can use this information even while discussing the matter with the HR team.
Looking toward the future, practice answering interview questions about the termination, and gather references from contacts to bolster your candidacy for jobs. Don’t let this reversal stand in the way of your success.