Was I Wrongfully Terminated from My Job?
When considering whether or not you have been terminated from your job unjustly, it’s easy to feel as if the deck has been stacked against you. After all, many companies hide behind at-will employment contracts and loopholes. When you’re dealing with a business that likely has the benefit of the doubt on its side—as well as a Human Resources department and a legal department of its own—it is imperative that you come to the table with representation of your own. A wrongful termination attorney will look at several factors when you call for a consultation. Hostile work environments are more prevalent than many realize, and they can indirectly bring about unjust dismissals from jobs. Sometimes a case is more complicated than it may seem at first glance, which is why it is so important to consult with a wrongful termination attorney who truly understands the landscape of these workplaces.
Your attorney may also investigate whether or not you have been fired due to age discrimination, disability or unwillingness to take part in illegal acts on behalf of the business. Nowadays, maternity rights and pregnancy are also hot-button issues that have leaped into public consciousness, as is sexual orientation. Companies cannot fire you because your sexual orientation does not please those who are in power. The right lawyer will carefully examine the details of your unique situation, bringing to light any circumstances that may have led to wrongful termination. They will also analyze your employment contract to see if it was breached by the employer when they fired you. Again, whistleblowers are also protected by the law. As an employee, you have the right to report an issue without having to fear that you will lose your job.
What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of Wrongful Termination?
Whether you believe that your job may be on the chopping block within the next few weeks or you’ve already been given your walking papers, it is essential to remain calm and collect as much documentation as you possibly can. Losing a job—or being threatened with the loss of your position—is one of the greatest stressors modern people can face. Recognize your emotions when they come to the surface, but do not allow them to take over. Resist the urge to rage at your supervisor or co-workers and calmly begin to build your case. Remember that any retribution you dole out will likely cast a negative shadow upon the validity of your case. Instead of lashing out, pour all of your energy into writing down the dates and times of incidents that have occurred. If you possess any correspondence that is pertinent to your termination—or even a few emails or texts that may bring certain circumstances to light—make sure that you preserve them. In this instance, it is always better to collect more information than less. In cases where hostile work environments indirectly lead to wrongful dismissals, this type of documentation is usually essential.
Although it may be painful to listen to abusive voicemail messages or to read inappropriate texts again, you must file all of this evidence away in a safe place so that your wrongful termination attorney can review it. With laws changing frequently—and with the detailed nuances of these cases making each one unique—you will need to find a legal group that handles cases just like yours.
Do I Need to Hire a Wrongful Termination Attorney?
When the stakes are high, it is crucial that you connect with the best possible legal representation you can find. In the turmoil of losing a job or striving to protect a position that you still hold, sometimes it can feel as if many obstacles are hindering your ability to find the right attorney. Wrongful dismissal cases are often highly complex and detailed; this is not the kind of legal paperwork that you can DIY. Since one false step can render your case invalid, it is vital that you work with an attorney who possesses experience and education in this arena. With employment law changing on a frequent basis, you will want to engage the services of a lawyer who regularly works with these types of cases.
Too many unlawfully terminated people falsely believe that they have no recourse just because they are in a financial bind due to loss of work. Do not allow a lack of funds to become a factor that holds you back. Before making any rash decisions, reach out to the best wrongful termination lawyer in your area and tell them about your case. You may be surprised by how many attorneys are willing to take cases on a contingent basis. In these types of cases, your lawyer will receive a percentage of your potential recovered fees or settlement. Even if the case does not go to trial and your former employer decides to settle with you, the attorney will receive their percentage. If there is no wrongful termination settlement or if the case is not decided in your favor, the attorney is not compensated. Even if a lawyer prefers to work on an hourly basis or would like to arrange a retainer fee, there are all kinds of different ways to structure payments.
Do not allow financial factors to get in your way; reach out to an attorney for a consultation and then take it from there. For many people, taking the first step is often the most challenging part of the process. Luckily, attorneys who work with wrongful termination cases on a frequent basis are usually excellent at walking potential clients through the process with ease. By the end of their consultations, many people feel more calm and knowledgeable about the entire process. If you even think that there is the slightest chance that you have been wrongfully terminated, it is best to contact a lawyer. There is often just a short window to act, and you don’t want to miss your opportunity to receive a measure of justice.