If you were recently terminated from your job and think it was retaliatory or discriminatory, you have options. Even if your boss lied and said you were fired because you were underperforming, there are ways to prove you were wrongfully terminated.
No matter your circumstances, here’s what you need to know about being illegally fired.
1. You can file a wrongful termination lawsuit
After being fired, your most fruitful option is to file a lawsuit through a lawyer such as WrongfulTermination.com against your employer. Filing a lawsuit gives you the chance to recover compensation for your troubles, which may include punitive damages depending on the severity of the offense.
When you hire a skilled wrongful termination lawyer, you have the ability to recover a generous amount of money through a lawsuit. Most lawsuits settle out of court, so you probably won’t need to go to trial. However, anything is possible. Regardless, if your employer fired you illegally, your attorney will be able to get you fairly compensated.
The compensation you can recover will depend on your circumstances, but generally speaking, you could be eligible for a generous sum of money for what you’ve been through.
Don’t hesitate to file a lawsuit, as you’ll also be sending a message to your former employer that what they did was unacceptable, and it might prevent the same thing from happening to others in the future.
2. At-will employment doesn’t mean every termination is legal
Just because you were under an at-will employment agreement doesn’t mean your employer can fire you for retaliatory or discriminatory reasons. For example, if your employer fired you without giving you a reason, but they recently made negative remarks about you being pregnant, you might be able to prove it was discrimination.
At-will employment means you or your boss can terminate your employment without reason and you aren’t bound to an employment term. It does not, however, mean your boss can fire you in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
3. Discrimination cases can generate large settlements
If you pursue a wrongful termination suit, you could generate a large settlement. The amount of compensation you’re awarded will depend on the details of your case, but it’s not uncommon to win hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For example, Dr. Jacqueline Lappin, a transplant surgeon, recently won a gender discrimination lawsuit against her employer for being fired suddenly. Her employer alleged that she engaged in conduct “unbecoming of a leader,” when that wasn’t true. Her male counterparts, however, had already been counseled for the same behavior she was accused of, and were never fired. Her case was clear discrimination.
Lappin won a 300,000 judgment and her lawsuit will no doubt inspire other women to come forward with their experiences. If you’re facing a similar situation, let this serve as inspiration to pursue a lawsuit. At the very least, talk to an attorney to find out if you have a case. If you do, don’t hesitate to file a lawsuit.
4. You might want to file a class action
It’s entirely possible that your situation might be right for a class action suit, but it depends on the situation and how many people were affected by the same type of retaliation or discrimination.
Although it’s an option, a class action suit requires that multiple people be willing to file at the same time. This can sometimes be a challenge because most of the time, people aren’t willing to come forward when they fear being fired. If they know you were fired, and they can’t afford to miss a day of work, they might be too scared to file.
5. Employment law protects you against discrimination
You have civil rights that extend into the workplace and cannot be violated. For instance, there are specific types of discrimination that are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin.
There are also laws that prohibit discrimination based on age, disability, genetic information, and familial status. These laws are enforced mainly by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you’ve been a victim of employment discrimination, it’s important to file a complaint with the EEOC. You can still file a lawsuit if you’ve filed a complaint.
If you were fired after filing a complaint with the EEOC, that might actually make your wrongful termination case easier to win. Being fired for filing a complaint with a regulatory agency is considered retaliation.
If this happened to you, document everything about your situation, including conversations you’ve had with your boss. The more you can remember and document, the easier it will be to prove discrimination.
6. Be cautious about discussing your situation with coworkers
When there’s discrimination in the workplace, it’s natural for multiple employees to get in on the complaints… That is until someone gets fired. If you choose to stay in touch with your former coworkers after getting fired, be careful what you tell them. They might not be on your side.
Just because your coworkers seemed completely on your side before you were fired doesn’t mean they still feel the same way. Often, employees will backpedal their complaints against an employer when they realize they could be the next one fired. Your termination might have caused them to take a step back and apologize to their boss in an attempt to save their job.
It’s also possible that your former coworkers might be talking to you in order to get information to give to their boss. You can’t trust anyone’s intentions, so be careful what you share and don’t give away your plans if you’re filing a lawsuit or pursuing any other kind of complaint.
You deserve compensation for your troubles
Getting fired is inconvenient, and it’s worse when it was discriminatory. If you’ve been struggling after getting fired illegally, talk to a wrongful termination lawyer as fast as possible. Get a consultation to at least see if you have a case. You deserve to be compensated for your troubles.