Do you have grounds for a wrongful termination suit?
Losing a job is rarely a welcome event, but losing a job under unfair conditions is incredibly upsetting and possibly unlawful. There are a number of issues that can lead to wrongful termination cases being decided in your favor, and if a wrongful dismissal is proven, you can be hired back or else receive a monetary compensation from the former employer. However, what may seem unfair to you may not seem so to the judge; wrongful termination rests on unlawful behavior, not merely unsavory actions.
About Wrongful Termination Laws
Firing practices are guided by wrongful termination laws to ensure that employees can only be laid off if they have breached some term of their employment contract. This means that what constitutes wrongful termination will fluctuate according to the employment agreement, and the terms will also vary by jurisdiction. However, some key actions that will likely constitute wrongful termination in any company, including discrimination, retaliation, an employee's refusal to commit an illegal act and an employer's refusal to follow their own termination procedures.
In some instances, the employer's action may lead an employee to willingly leave the job due to unbearable working conditions. This situation is termed constructive discharge, and it may apply when an employee feels forced to quit, and believes that any other employee in their position would do the same. If you can prove that the employer's behavior has been unlawful and can be described as a breach of contract, you may earn the right to make claims against your employer.
Wrongful termination may not be as clear-cut as it seems—laws are designed to protect businesses as well as employees, and in cases where discrimination or breach of contract do not apply, an experienced attorney may be needed to sort out the complexities.
Filing a Wrongful Termination Suit
In order to maximize your success in the case, be sure that you don't act hastily—you're undoubtedly harboring negative feelings toward your employer, and acting on those feelings instead of a rational assessment of the situation can result in a poor outcome. To better deal with the situation, consider how an attorney can help.
You can begin to prepare your claim by reviewing your employment contract to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the deal, and also request to see your personnel file. An experienced attorney will be able to clarify any confusion in your contracts, establish which state laws will apply to you and provide advice on how to proceed. Wrongful termination lawyers will not only outline the strengths of your case, they will be able to help with the submission of your claim and arrange for the inevitable back-and-forth exchange with your former employer.