Employment Litigation Lawyer
FAQ: Have I Been Wrongfully Terminated?
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important that you take swift action to resolve the issue. Perhaps you might not know if you have been wrongfully terminated but suspect it. In truth, you should speak with a lawyer about the facts of your case. A knowledgeable lawyer will ask you questions about your case, such as what happened, and make an assessment based upon the information and details you provide. The following are three very important questions to consider when it comes to wrongful termination.
Were You Given a Reason for Your Immediate Firing?
In general, an employer does not have to explain why they chose to fire an employee. However, it is common for an employer to do so. They might even give the employee a termination letter that explicitly includes the reason in writing. Common reasons for firing include unsatisfactory performance, company restructuring, or misconduct in the workplace.
Is the Reason Accurate or Truthful?
If you were given a reason for your firing, ask yourself is it true? Naturally, you may be inclined to deny what has been said. So, try to be objective. For example:
- Were you harassing another employee?
- Were you stealing things?
- Were you absent without leave?
- Did you fail to perform your work duties?
- Did you argue with your supervisor?
Depending on the circumstances of your situation, your potential misconduct does not necessarily mean you don’t have a wrongful termination claim. Other factors might also be considered. These include:
Were You Treated the Same as Other Employees?
Was another coworker, who was of a different race or gender, fired for the same type of misconduct?
Was your position advertised after firing you based upon the need to reduce their workforce?
In many wrongful termination cases, employers have been found to give false reasons for firing the employee or gave different reasons at different times. False or inconsistent reasons may suggest an ulterior motive. When this is applicable, more often than not the reason for the firing is not legal.
Were You Complaining Too Much?
If you were fired for engaging in protective activity, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination claim. This includes reporting illegal behavior, complaining about being harassed, reporting discrimination, asking for medical leave, or for filing a grievance with the union. Regardless of what the issue might have been, it is generally your right to make a complaint about something that you believe is wrong or illegal. Should you be fired shortly after you make a complaint, there could be grounds for a wrongful termination claim. You may contact an employment litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. at Eric Siegel Law for more information about how to proceed.