Getting fired is always stressful and upsetting, and can be even more so if you were fired for an illegal reason, In that situation, getting your job back may or may not be something you are interested in.
What is job reinstatement?
If your employer fires your illegally, the courts may order them to give you your job – or a similar job – back. This recently happened in New York when a court ordered Amazon to reinstate a worker after determining the company fired the man unlawfully.
Reinstating a worker means rehiring the worker in the same position they left or one that is similar if the old one is no longer available. It also means giving the worker back the same:
- Position in the leadership hierarchy
However, disputes can arise when a company attempts to “reinstate” a worker to a position that is not similar. The new position may pay less, have a less desirable schedule or location, or be the equivalent of a demotion.
Thus, ensuring a position is indeed the same or similar to the original role is essential.
Do I have to take the job?
If the courts order your former employer to reinstate you, you can choose to accept the position or not. Before deciding, consider the following:
- Who will you report to? Will it be the same person who wrongfully terminated you?
- Do you already have another job you like more?
- Will it be uncomfortable to return to a potentially hostile work environment?
- Could returning to that job cause more or less stress?
Asking yourself these questions can help you decide whether you want to go back to your former employer or not.
Also, keep in mind that job reinstatement is not the only thing employers may need to provide to a wrongfully terminated employee. A court order or settlement could also require an employer to pay damages, back pay and compensation for lost benefits.
Protect your rights
Losing your job is distressing; losing your job for illegal reasons can be infuriating. If you suspect your employer has fired you wrongfully, talk to an attorney about your rights to pursue financial compensation and job reinstatement.