If you were recently fired, you may feel lost, frustrated, and unsure of your next move. This may be even more true if you believe your termination was unlawful? If you suspect your termination was against the law, there are some things you should do – and avoid doing – before too long.
Step 1: Knowing what makes discharge “wrongful”
Feeling that your firing was wrongful and proving it in the eyes of the law are two different things. While it is natural to disagree with a termination that seems sudden or unjust, not all terminations are illegal.. In legal terms, a termination is wrongful if it involves discrimination, fraud, or retaliation for protected actions. These protected actions can include reporting harassment, supporting unionization, or blowing the whistle on fraud or other illegal practices.
Step 2: Talk to an attorney
If you suspect your termination was wrongful, consulting an attorney in a timely manner can be crucial. Doing so early allows you to explain your situation, gather evidence, and assess your legal options.
Failing to do this can lead to wasting time going down the wrong path or missing out on financial and professional remedies that may be available.
Step 3:Document, document, document
. Gather evidence such as supporting documents before your termination, if possible, or immediately afterward. This evidence can reinforce your claims that your former employer violated your rights when they fired you.
Some particularly valuable information to collect includes:
- Performance reviews;
- Copies of complaints you made or commented on;
- Emails that contradict your employer’s or manager’s stated reason for termination;
- Proof of discriminatory or retaliatory behavior, like emails and witness statements;
- Employment contracts.
These and other types of evidence can connect the dots between your employer’s actions and any illegal conduct.
Step 4: Act fast
While recovering from an unjust firing takes time, delaying action on a wrongful termination can come at a cost. People’s memories fade, records get lost, and deadlines to take legal action expire.
Waiting too long to seek legal advice can make it harder to achieve the resolution you seek, sobe proactive if you suspect you’ve been fired illegally. Understanding your rights, seeking legal counsel, documenting your case, and acting swiftly can make a significant difference in your pursuit of justice.