Getting fired is unfortunately something most people have to live through at some point. In all likelihood, it could happen to you multiple times during your employment history. It’s not something you should let stop you from pursuing future career opportunities.
However, you should also be aware that sometimes the process of being terminated isn’t fair. In some cases, your employer may have even broken the law in firing you. Wrongful terminations do happen, and they can be remedied in court. Below are four clues that you may have been wrongfully terminated.
Your Firing Wasn’t in Line with Company Policy
While at-will employment certainly exists, employers can’t legally fire you for any reason. They, for one can’t fire employees in ways that contradict their own rules. Typically, these are outlined in an employee handbook. They may have also been communicated to employees in other ways as well. If your firing didn’t follow these rules and guidelines and appears abnormal in that regard, you may have a case.
You Suspect Discrimination
Certain protected groups cannot be discriminated against by employers. This includes being singled out for unfair firings. You cannot be treated differently than other employees based on your sex, race, ethnic background or religion. You can’t be fired for being over the age of 40 either. If you believe that your firing was related to one of your immutable characteristics, it is probable that your firing was illegal. Even if you don’t think you can win a case or lack the funds, justice in on your side. This is why you can get a pre settlement funding for lawsuits. That way you still have the legal help you need and help prevent it from happening to other people. Finances should not stay in the way of justice, especially after you were wrongfully terminated.
You Were Retaliated Against
Employer retaliation under certain circumstances is also against the law. Certain actions by employees are protected from employer retaliation including firings. For example, you may have reported a safety violation in the workplace. If that is the case, you cannot be fired for that reason. Even if another reason is given for your firing, it may still be illegal if you can prove it was triggered by your legally protected action.
Your Employer Defamed You
If slander or libel was spread by your employer after your firing, you can also seek compensation in a court of law. Defamation by employers is certainly illegal. It can also have a disastrous effect on your ability to find gainful employment with another employer.
Chances are you will be fired at some point by an employer. Although we would hope that all employers follow the law, this isn’t always the case. Some terminations are done in an illegal way. If you believe you were fired illegally by your employer, consult with an attorney about your legal options.
Guest author, Kara Masterson, is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.