In the United States, we are all guaranteed the right to live and prosper. This means we should be permitted to earn a living, but sometimes circumstances and people get in the way of this. Certain laws at the local and federal levels protect employees from being terminated based on discrimination and employers cannot break the rules of an employment contract.
What’s important to know is most employers will be protected in “at-will” employment states like Florida and Georgia. This means your employer can hire or fire you at any time without providing a reason. This makes proving “wrongful termination” a major challenge, but it’s not impossible (especially because certain contracts can remove your “at-will” status). Let’s take a look at some key steps you need to take to support your case.
Gather all documentation
The first step is to gather the documentation for your employment and any documentation related to your termination. This means paychecks, contracts, company manuals, termination notices, and any documentation related to potential discrimination or that violates the details in your contract or company manuals.
You’re going to need all the evidence you can muster in order to prove your case. This is the first step of the larger picture because the burden of proof will fall on your shoulders. If your employer gave a stated reason for your termination, you will need to provide proof this reason was false or violated contracts, policies, or laws.
Reach out to coworkers and colleagues
The next step in your evidence-gathering process is to work with coworkers and colleagues who you believe can support your case. Were there witnesses to a violation of your rights? Did someone else get terminated at the same time or for a similar reason? There are some questions you should ask and try to match coworkers and colleagues to those.
At the end of the day, a he-said, she-said battle in the courtroom with your employer might be tough to overcome. If you have witnesses and supporting statements to back your case then your employer will have more questions to answer.
Consider the evidence your employer has
You can gather all the evidence you want, but there are some limitations if you believe your employer has a better case. Ask questions like: did I actually violate company policy? Did my performance falter prior to my termination? Did I go through the proper channels during my time at work to protect myself against termination?
There are many questions you should consider, but it’s going to require honesty. The best way to equip yourself to prove your case is to be honest about whether or not your employer either has grounds or can claim to have grounds to fire you. Once you consider what evidence your employer has or doesn’t have, you should prepare yourself to defend against those claims.
Work with an attorney
Before your case gets serious, it’s important to speak with an attorney. Your attorney will review your case and help you determine if your employer violated any laws that protect you against termination for things such as:
- Reporting wrongdoing in your workplace
- Filing for workers’ compensation
- Refusing to break the law on behalf of your employer
There are other laws and protections that can result in a wrongful termination case. The best way to know if you have a case is to work with the right attorney. At Feldman Legal Group, we will fight for your right to work without being wrongfully terminated. Contact us and get your case started today.