How a Wrongful Termination Lawyer will Assess your Case
Wrongful termination cases can be incredibly difficult to win. This is solely due to “at-will” employment laws throughout our country. Every decent wrongful termination lawyer knows this. However, your wrongful termination case can be successful in many circumstances. You just have to play your cards right.
Did you have a contract?
If you have a detailed employment contract, you may have been wrongfully terminated. Your wrongful termination lawyer will determine if a company had a right to fire you. Many times a contract will say an employee can only be fired for “gross misconduct” or “financial malfeasance”, which means any employer cannot fire you for bad performance. Most employees do not have contracts that include such clauses.
How were other employees treated?
One of the best ways a wrongful termination lawyer can prove you were terminated for the wrong reasons is how other employees were treated. If you were fired for a reason many other employees were not fired for, then you may have a strong wrongful termination case.
Was there a policy?
An employer’s handbook or policy manual is created to form understandings between employer and an employee. If this document contains guidelines for discipline that were not followed in your circumstances, but were followed with other employees – you’ll want to inform your wrongful termination lawyer.
Did retaliation occur?
Companies cannot retaliate against employees who made a complaint in the workplace or “blew the whistle” on illegal activities in the workplace. If you’ve been fired due to retaliation, then your wrongful termination lawyer will certainly have a strong case.
Do you have any type of documentation?
You should always ask for a copy of your files and performance reports – if you are fired. A wrongful termination lawyer can look at your files and see if the reason behind your firing is legal. If you were fired for poor performance, but your files indicates you’ve reached your quota for the last 11 months – your employer won’t have a leg to stand on in court.
Does the company still owe you money?
Wrongful termination lawyers will always want to know if you were paid everything you were owed after being fired. This includes:
• Unpaid wages
• All overtime pay earned
• Any vested paid vacation you didn’t use
…And any other amounts you may be owed from the company.
An employer is obligated to pay all these debts rather quickly after terminating an employee.
The witness factor
A big factor for a wrongful termination lawyer in deciding whether you have a case is the witness factor. If no one in the company will stand up for you and be a witness, then you may have a weak case. Your lawyer will also be sizing you up as a witness. No wrongful termination lawyer wants to take on a case – only to find out his client is a going to embarrass him or her on the stand.
Are you owed damages?
A wrongful termination lawyer will also always look at whether you’re owed damages. Damages in a wrongful termination suit can include: lost of pay, loss of benefits, punitive damages, and emotional distress.