wrongful termination lawyer
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Wrongful Termination Lawyer


If you’ve been unlawfully fired, then you could be entitled to significant compensation, but navigating an employment dispute can be challenging and confusing, especially for a first-time plaintiff. It’s worth pursuing the claim if legitimate, but you’ll likely want the support of experienced wrongful termination lawyers who can help you push forward meaningfully and secure the compensation (and justice) that you’re looking for.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we have a large network of attorneys that includes the sort of skilled wrongful termination lawyer who can help. Call in today for a free legal consultation so that you can have your case evaluated.

If you still have questions, or you’d like to learn a bit more about what a wrongful termination lawyer can do to assist you, and about what is involved in a wrongful termination lawsuit in general, read on! We’ll jump into some of the basics to better clarify the issues you’re likely to face.

On what grounds could such a termination be considered a wrongful discharge?

Wrongful termination cases (otherwise known as wrongful discharge or unlawful termination/firing) are a common type of dispute in the employment context. Essentially, it posits that the employer terminated the employee for an unlawful reason. It’s important to hold your employer accountable when they engage in this type of malicious behavior.

As context, it’s important to understand that the United States has at-will employment by default. What this means is that employers have a right to terminate any worker’s employment, for any reason — so long as that reason is not in violation of employment contracts, or discriminatory in nature.

So, for example, your employer could fire you for liking a rival sports team. But they can’t fire you because of your race or gender. Nor can they fire you suddenly if the terms of your employment contract require that they give you a six-month “notice period” before terminating your employment.

Firing someone over medical leave is a violation of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, making it grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Further complicating these issues is that the employer is likely to argue that they did not fire you for the stated reason. Even if you’re sure that your employer fired you because of some discriminatory reason, you’ll have to actually “prove” that they did so — that it was the cause of the firing.

For example, suppose that your employer fires you, and you claim that they did so because they’re a misogynist and you’re a woman. Once you go to court, however, the evidence reveals that you were a poor employee and that your work results were substantially below those of your peers. The court would very likely consider the firing to be reasonable, and not linked to your gender.

That being said, successful cases often turn on a few pieces of key evidence. In the above example, if you introduced recordings of chats in which your boss told a colleague that you should be fired because you’re a woman, then the court would almost certainly consider that to be a sign of a discriminatory motive.

How to negotiate a wrongful termination settlement?

To negotiate a wrongful termination settlement effectively (i.e., to maximize the settlement amount offered), you’ll want to show that you are likely to secure your desired compensation if the case were to proceed to trial.

Compensation can include lost wages, unpaid wages, and any difference in pay if they find a new job after termination.

For example, suppose that you are claiming $100,000 in damages for wrongful termination.  After some initial back-and-forth, you and the defendant agree that you have a 70 percent chance of success in securing that compensation if the case proceeds to trial.  Thus, a fair settlement amount would be $70,000, as it accounts for the agreed-upon uncertainty of the trial outcome.

Various other factors can influence the settlement amount, however.  These include:

  • The hostility of the defendant and their subsequent willingness to settle vs. go to trial
  • How much negative publicity the defendant would face if the case were to proceed to trial
  • Whether the defendant benefits from discouraging other potential plaintiffs from suing
  • How strong your legal argument is and the evidentiary record in support of that argument
  • And more

Why do most wrongful termination lawsuits end in settlement?

It’s true that the large majority of disputes end in a settlement compromise — industry observers estimate that it may be as much as 95 percent.

But why?

Well, trial litigation has a number of negative aspects.  Trial litigation can be:

  • Uncertain
  • Resource intensive
  • Emotionally exhausting
  • Public
  • And more

There are very few guarantees in litigation.  Courts may rule against you even if you have a strong argument and evidence — or if they rule in favor of you, they may choose to award you lower damages than you ideally would have liked to receive.  This uncertainty is inherent to litigation, and both plaintiffs and defendants often want to avoid it.  To that end, parties may feel that negotiating a compromise is preferable to the uncertainty (especially since it can be expensive and draining to enter trial litigation).

Publicity can also be a major factor, especially in wrongful termination and other employment-related disputes.  Employers generally want to avoid negative publicity, which can irreparably damage their brand and reputation.  Since litigation is “public,” a media report on the nature of your dispute could have enormous negative impacts on your employer.  To avoid this, employers often agree to negotiate early settlements so that the case will not go public.  You have substantial leverage in this regard.

What are the odds of winning a wrongful termination case?

Every case is different.  In essence, your “odds” of winning will depend on how strong your legal argument is, as well as the evidentiary record.

For example, if you don’t have any documented evidence of the employer making discriminatory statements about you, it could be a challenge to establish unlawful intent.  On the other hand, if you took screenshots of work messages sent by your boss telling you that you can’t understand a project task because you’re a woman, then that would strongly support a claim that you were wrongfully terminated because of your gender.

Working with an attorney will help you to identify potential strengths and weaknesses in your case and maximize your odds of winning.

What steps should I take if I believe that I could be wrongfully terminated at work?

There are a number of important steps you should take if you believe that your employer may be preparing to terminate you unlawfully:

  • Document everything.  Communications in the workplace (emails, texts, work messages coming through on platforms like Teams, etc.) may serve as evidence of discriminatory intent, thus giving you the documentary support you need to prove your wrongful termination claim.  Don’t assume that a small message is irrelevant.  Everything adds up.
  • Don’t worry about retaliation.  If your employer punishes you in any way for exercising your rights, you can potentially sue them for retaliation.  Retaliation is an independent claim (it’s separate from your wrongful termination claim), and gives you an additional tool for securing compensation.
  • Try to remain amicable in work communications.  You’re certainly entitled to be upset at your employer for their negative behavior — but if your communications show that you are rude and difficult to work with, that can affect the court’s perception of you, which could have an impact on how they evaluate your case.  To the degree possible, remain assertive and stern, but amicable.
  • Do not speak to HR until you have first spoken to an attorney.  The HR personnel at your workplace are meant to protect the company — not you.  If you discuss the issue further with them, they may attempt to get you to disclose information that could undermine your case.  Avoid doing so until you have spoken to a qualified wrongful termination lawyer about the dispute.
  • Know your legal protections. In some states, it is illegal for employers to fire workers for exercising their legal right to file a workers’ compensation claim for an injury sustained on the job.

Will it be expensive to hire a wrongful termination lawyer to help with my case?

Not necessarily — in fact, it could cost you nothing at all.  Many plaintiffs’-side attorneys handling wrongful termination claims work on a contingency fee basis.  This means that it costs nothing upfront or out-of-pocket to get started.  The attorney gets paid only if they successfully secure compensation on your behalf — if so, they take a percentage cut of your total compensation (anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent or more, depending on the phase of litigation and the agreement you make with the attorney).

Simply put: you only pay if you get paid.  If you don’t win, you don’t have to pay the attorney at all.  That puts zero financial burden on you to get started with litigating your claim.  This lowers the barrier to entry quite a bit, enabling anyone — not just those with a lot of money — to pursue justice.

Additionally, contingency fee dynamics incentivize attorneys to work relentlessly on your behalf to secure the maximum possible compensation.  This is fairly straightforward — after all, the more you get paid, the more they get paid.

What can an employment attorney do to assist me?

Employment attorneys are more than just courtroom advocates. They can provide assistance at every phase of the dispute. Consulting with a wrongful termination attorney is crucial for assessing your situation, determining the possibility of filing a lawsuit, understanding your legal rights, and seeking compensation. Their duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Identifying, gathering, and preserving evidence
  • Investigating the evidentiary record to develop a persuasive legal argument and prove wrongful termination occurred
  • Working with witnesses (including experts) to build a network of supportive testimony
  • Navigating court hearings and other processes
  • Negotiating a potential settlement with opposing counsel
  • Pushing ahead to trial, if necessary
  • Securing the awarded compensation
  • And more

These are challenging processes to navigate, especially for a first-time plaintiff who has no training or experience in the law. Though there is no legal requirement that you use an attorney as you move forward with your dispute, it’s highly encouraged that you work with a qualified attorney — in fact, even the courts formally discourage you from going without an attorney.

As such, it should hardly come as a surprise that even attorneys hire other attorneys to represent them in various disputes. So don’t make a mistake that could cost you a positive outcome — talk to an attorney about your dispute and consider moving forward with them.

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job, then you could be entitled to sue and recover damages.  Wrongful termination disputes aren’t always straightforward, however, and the key to maximizing your compensation is to work with experienced wrongful termination attorneys who know how to navigate these sorts of disputes effectively.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with one of the qualified employment attorneys in our network.  Unlawful firing can be a challenge to understand, but that’s one of the ways in which an experienced attorney can help. Consulting with an employment law attorney can help in bringing legal action against the former employer. During the initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in detail and learn about your strategic options. After all, there are a number of ways to litigate wrongful termination suits, and you’ll want to properly explore these options.

We look forward to assisting you.

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If you’ve suffered losses due to another’s fault, then the law may entitle you to sue the responsible parties and recover damages as compensation. As the case develops, however, you may find that it is more complex — and more challenging — than you initially thought.

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Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Posted On: June 20, 2024