Being terminated from a job has to be one of the hardest things that can happen in a person’s career. It’s hard under any circumstances, but when an employee feels that they have been wrongfully terminated, it’s even worse. Unless blatant, wrongful termination is difficult to prove and requires the employee to document as much as possible and seek effective legal representation from experienced attorneys.
After termination, the first thing that should happen is a full and honest post-job evaluation with experienced wrongful termination attorneys at Aegis Law Firm. A terminated employee will feel hurt, shocked, scared, and perhaps worst of all, inadequate. Let’s be honest. No one thinks they have been terminated for cause, even if they know they have. An employee’s first reaction is usually to get angry at the firm or boss who terminated them and looks for blame. It is from this mindset that an employee may rush to a determination that it was a case of wrongful termination. This is why a thoughtful and thorough evaluation is important.
For the employee who feels strongly that they have been wrongfully terminated, the post-job evaluation will involve a review of the issues faced during employment, and that employee will most likely have already started building a case through documentation. In many cases, wrongful termination begins long before the employee is let go. An employee may notice a change in attitude from a boss after making a complaint about an actual or perceived illegal activity. This type of wrongful termination is called retaliation and can be a case. Another type of wrongful termination is due to discrimination. One example of discrimination is if an employee is being pushed out due to their sex, race, or sexual orientation. A strong signal of wrongful termination may be positive reviews up to the termination. For this reason, keeping any performance reviews, emails, or other correspondence is valuable.
Something employees often overlook is understanding the legal and regulatory structure of the cities and states they live in. Most states are “at-will”, which allows an employer to terminate workers without giving them a reason why. Understanding the laws and regulations that are in place in the jurisdiction you live in will provide you with valuable knowledge from which to make a good decision.
During the termination, an employee may want to ask for the reason why they are being let go. They should take physical or at the very least mental notes, and write down their memories as soon as they can after the meeting. Many employers will not give a specific reason in these termination meetings. Still, sometimes, an employer may discuss the issues that led to termination. In these cases, an employee should listen carefully and see if things make sense. For example, the employer may say that economic conditions led to job cuts. In that case, it should be fairly easy for the employee to determine whether or not that is the truth. How many other employees were let go? Is the national or local economy in a slowdown or recession? Has the work at this particular company slowed down? Has there been the internal talk of a drop-off in revenue or a loss? If it’s a public company that information is readily available.
Finally, use notes and documentation to determine if there was any hint of discriminatory or retaliation behavior prior to termination. If a terminated employee can make the case for discrimination or retaliation, the termination may have been a wrongful one.
In all cases of wrongful termination, victims need to seek professional legal advice and if it is determined that they have a case, move forward to get redress. If you would like a free consultation with a wrongful termination attorney visit our free case evaluation page or call (949) 379-6250 to schedule your consultation.