Employers have certain legal obligations towards their employees. Terminations must be carried out according to employment law and with due notice period. If you have been recently laid off by your employer and believe that your termination was unjustified, you can raise the issue in a court.
In this blog we will lay out the process that should be followed to appeal against illegal termination.
Understand Wrongful Termination
There are certain conditions that can make a termination order illegal and open for challenge in court. These include the following.
- The termination occurs in violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
- The termination is a type of sexual or power harassment.
- Written and oral contract agreements are not followed at the time of termination.
- The employer violates various labor and collective bargaining laws in the process of termination.
- The termination is carried out in retaliation for a complaint or claim against the employer.
Employers found guilty of wrongful termination can be punished with incarceration or required to pay damages to the employee in terms of lost wages, court fee etc. At will employment is an exception where the employer may terminate the contract at any time without giving a notice period.
What to do in Case You Are Terminated Wrongfully
There are some actions that you should take in case of wrongful termination while avoiding others.
- Be patient and remain calm. Do not act negatively or aggressively if you are fired without just cause. Arguing or fighting over the termination will only help your employer justify their actions in court later.
- Your employer will issue you a written termination letter that outlines the reasons for the termination. If not, ask them for a letter of termination, or a written statement on why you are being laid off.
- You should also do some research and find out as much about your termination from your colleagues as you can. Find out who took the decision to fire you and what the underlying causes were.
- If your company maintains a personal file on you, ask to review it. Any disciplinary actions, warnings or inappropriate behavior will be a part of your file and you should make a note of the evidence that was being built up to terminate you.
- Research and document everything that led to the company’s decision to terminate you. This will help you in the future regardless of whether or not you are looking to pursue a legal course of action.
- Get in touch with a good employment lawyer for legal counsel. If the basis of your termination is illegal you can get the decision reversed and even get compensation.
Pursuing Legal Action
Legal cases can take a while to resolve, often costly and results can be unexpected. If you have a strong case then your lawyer will guide you about the process. Get in touch with our team (>>link to contact page) to find out how we can help.
When the trial goes to court, there are a couple of options you will have. If your lawyer feels confident about a decision in your favor then they would advise you to continue the case. On the other hand if your lawyers believe that the arbitration can deliver better results, then they would advise you to go for that.