What to Do in Case of a Wrongful Termination
Being terminated from a job is like being kicked out of your home. It’s not easy to go through. You may be feeling angry and confused, but the first thing you need to do in case of wrongful termination is contact an experienced attorney for help.
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether your termination was because your boss hated you or just couldn’t afford to keep paying you-you still have rights that need protection. So what can you do in case of wrongful termination?
Steps to take after a case of a wrong termination
1) Contact an attorney as soon as possible to make them file a claim on behalf of their client with the appropriate agency (possibly state employment commission). By doing that, your attorney may be able to stop the agency from investigating your case until they have had a chance to build a defense.
2) File for unemployment benefits and any other applicable entitlements such as COBRA benefits. Doing that will enable you to collect half of your weekly pay. Unemployment benefits are typically around a quarter of your weekly salary until you find a new job or until you get unemployment benefits from the company that fired you.
One thing to note when filing for these benefits: There is a waiting period before receiving them, and the amount they will deduct from any other pending claims. If you are receiving unemployment benefits and finding a job, let them know to stop the payments.
Generally, you will have to wait two weeks before starting your new job. But, there will be exceptions depending on where you live. Check with your state’s agency for more details.
3) Keep track of all the time spent looking for alternative work and any time you spend going to unemployment hearings, helping your attorney with the case, etc. It will assist in determining whether or not you qualify for compensation and how much money you can receive when the case is successful.
4) Keep copies of all documents related to a case of a wrongful termination. They may include your employment contract or letters of reference from previous employers, performance evaluations, documentation proving you met their expectations, and any other work-related materials. You should also record how much money you are spending on unemployment benefits, legal fees, and time you are spending job hunting.
6) Document conversations with your former employer that could be useful in the courts, such as any verbal warnings you got before your firing and any promises made to you by management regarding future employment or benefits (i.e., bonuses).
7) If the case does end up going to court, ensure that you bring any materials that support your claim. These may include attendance records, evaluations, or documentation of promised raises and bonuses. In addition, if you have photos of performance reviews or other documents from your employer that support your claim, these will also be helpful in court.
If you believe your wrongful termination falls under the federal or state protections provided to employees, you have several options to do something about it. If you’re not sure why you got fired or who is responsible for wrongful termination, contact us at (423) 844-0560, and we will guide you.