It can be traumatic and difficult to lose your job, perhaps for performance-related issues, or for some other justifiable reason — but it can be even worse if you’ve been wrongfully terminated by your employer.
While employers are usually entitled to terminate their employees without cause, the law does extend protections to employees who have been terminated wrongfully. In a wrongful termination dispute, you may be eligible to receive significant compensation: for back pay, future earnings, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
An attorney can determine if you have a case and advise you on the best way to proceed. As such, it’s important to pursue legal representation early.
Call for a free consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer in our network today if you’ve been unfairly let go by your employer. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our representatives will gather information and connect you in just 10 minutes to an attorney who can help.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Most states allow employers to terminate their employees without cause. This is known as the right-to-work principle. Employees may leave for any reason, and employers may terminate their employees for “almost” any reason.
Importantly, the law does proscribe limits to this termination power. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee for an illegal reason.
This may include the following circumstances:
- The employer did not provide adequate notice before terminating the employee.
- The employer discriminated against the employee in terminating them, as they terminated them on the basis of their protected class (i.e., gender, religion, age, race, etc.).
- The employer terminated the employee for their refusal to engage in illegal activities.
- The employer terminated the employee despite their being contractual protections against such termination (i.e., the employment contract provided that there be multiple performance review sessions before a termination occurred).
- And more
If you believe that you were unjustly terminated, then it’s worth consulting a qualified wrongful termination lawyer for guidance on how to proceed.
Documentation And Proof — Protecting Yourself
Proof is critical in any lawsuit, from wrongful termination to personal injury. While we hope that you are never made a victim of wrongful termination, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from the beginning-to-end of your employment relationship.
These steps include:
- Document everything. This is critical in cases of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The more proof you provide, the better the chances of a favorable outcome. Keep a running list of names, dates, and details. Make copies of emails or other types of written correspondence that are direct evidence of unlawful behavior.
- Keep your employee handbook in a safe place. If you are ever terminated from your job, take the handbook home with you — do not leave it at work, where it would require additional steps to request and recover.
- Regularly ask to see your personnel file. In most states, your employer is required by law to give you access to your file. Make copies of the documentation contained within the file, and keep a running list of the included items.
After hiring an attorney, they will update you on relevant information regarding the evidence necessary for filing a wrongful termination claim. It’s at this point that your due diligence will pay off, as you can provide all the records they need to begin litigating your case.
Don’t be alarmed if you didn’t keep any notes. Skilled attorneys work with their team (and with independent experts) to conduct their own investigation into the evidence. Rest assured: they will be able to build a strong case on that basis.
There Is No Downside To Legal Representation
You have nothing to lose by consulting with and hiring a wrongful termination lawyer to represent your interests. There is simply no downside.
- Legal complexity. Wrongful termination litigation is complicated. There are a number of unique procedural and legal issues that can enhance the complexity of the dispute, and an attorney will understand how best to navigate these issues to preserve your rights and potentially secure compensation.
- Contingency fees. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, legal representation with any of our network attorneys is on a contingency basis. Simply put: you don’t pay until and unless you obtain compensation. The attorney covers all out-of-pocket costs to do with litigation, and you will have no expenses.
If the attorney secures a “win,” then you will give them a percentage cut of the compensation as their fee. This also creates a positive dynamic where the attorney is incentivized to maximize compensation and to secure a win in an efficient manner.
Evidentiary benefits. Attorneys work tirelessly to gather evidence and develop a persuasive argument on your behalf. This is critical in emotional, high-conflict situations such as a wrongful termination dispute. There may be difficulties in obtaining evidence, as employers may take steps to shield communications, documents, and other important evidence-related items from being disclosed. You’ll need a skilled attorney to make requests.
Wrongful termination cases require skilled negotiators and aggressive advocates to defend your rights — attorneys who understand how to develop a persuasive case and push hard for a favorable outcome. Don’t make the mistake of picking an attorney at-random.