Losing your job for an unlawful reason gives you the right to file a claim for wrongful termination against your employer. In such a case legal remedies are available which includes filing for economic damages. If you have not been officially let you go you can negotiate for an appropriate severance package which would include compensation. In such a scenario consult a top employment lawyer to guide you through the process.
When can termination be wrongful?
Termination is wrongful when an employee has been let go for illegal reasons. Some of the violations carry a statutory penalty and others could result in employers paying damages including loss of wages and other expenses. Certain cases may give rise to punitive damages or holding more than one wrongdoer accountable for the damages. Following are some of the illegal reasons for termination:
- Violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws
- Form of sexual harassment
- Violation of oral and written employment agreement
- Violation of labour laws, including collective bargaining laws
- The employee has filed a complaint or claim against the employer
If you are being fired, remember the following tips:
- Keep your cool and do not act out
- Consult a wrongful termination lawyer
- Be familiar with the provisions of your employment contract, if you have one
- Find out why you were terminated
- Found out whose decision it was to fire you
- Review your personnel file
- Review the promises made by your employers and gather needed evidence
- Try and negotiate a severance package
- Have a written confirmation regarding your termination and severance
- Do not let yourself be intimidated
- Follow all the common post-employment procedures.
Things to keep in mind when negotiating severance:
The employer is under no compulsion to give you severance unless the employment contract or the employee handbook or manual dictates so. Even in such a situation, you might be able to negotiate a severance package in exchange for a promise that you would not press any legal charges. Your attorney will be able to explain the options available and advise you according to your situation. If you are negotiating a severance then following are a few tips to follow:
- Do not accept the first offer
- Take your time to consider the offers from your employer
- Refuse employer’s offer to resign instead of being terminated
- Stay on the payroll for as long as possible
- Take a written confirmation of any terms
- Negotiate to continue with medical coverage while receiving severance pay
- The severance package should not be contingent to new employment.