Filing a Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination
Losing your job can be a distressing experience, particularly if you were in a job that you enjoyed or even loved. Getting used to not going to work every day, and not seeing the colleagues or customers that you built relationships with can be hard enough. When you have to keep a roof over your head, bills to pay, and possibly a family to support, the financial implications of unemployment can seem insurmountable.
However, the situation can feel worse when you don’t truly understand the reason for your dismissal, or if you believe you were wrongly fired. If you feel that you were previously a valued member of your team, if you had a good employment record and your sudden dismissal has come as something of a shock, there is a chance that you are a victim of wrongful termination.
What constitutes wrongful termination?
Unsurprisingly, exactly what constitutes wrongful termination is not as clear-cut as we might like. There are many different things that employees can do to receive a “black mark” on their record, and in some cases, they will add up to a dismissal.
Since employment is considered “at will” in most States, your employer may actually fire you for no reason at all provided that they meet their contractual obligations. For example, if your contract states that the disciplinary procedure pattern is a verbal warning, two written warnings, and then dismissal if your employer misses any of those steps, then they are in breach of contract. Similarly, employers may be obligated to honor any verbal promises that they have made, although for obvious reasons these “implied contracts” are much harder to prove.
Some of the most common cases raised for wrongful termination have involved the following:
- Discrimination. This could be based on gender, race, immigration status or sexual orientation.
- Whistleblowing. This refers to the employee reporting an illegal or unethical act by their employer.
- Retaliation. This most often relates to the employee failing to perform illegal acts, such as ignoring health and safety regulations or violating working hours laws.
- For taking time off when you are entitled to. This includes taking time off of work for jury service or military duty.
- Sexual harassment. In some cases, sexual harassment victims are forced out rather than the company dealing with the problem.
- Financial discrepancies. This includes requesting wages owed, overtime pay, claiming worker’s compensation, or claiming days off owed in lieu of wages.
What can I do if I think I have been wrongfully terminated?
If you think that you have been unfairly dismissed from your job, the first thing that you should do is seek out the services of an experienced attorney.
The process of seeking compensation for wrongful dismissal can be complex and confusing. If you are planning on going up against your company, you can bet that they will have legal representation.
Therefore, you should ensure that you have an experienced professional to present your case and represent your best interests too. A great employment attorney will understand the importance of protecting your reputation so that you can seek out future employment, while still seeking out damages you are owed for loss of earnings and inconveniences you have experienced.
Make sure that you keep any documentation that you feel may support your compensation claim. These could include emails and correspondence (make sure you take copies of these or forward them to your own email address before you leave), as well as taking details of any colleagues that may have witnessed discrimination against you. Remember that in Florida, you need consent from both parties to record a conversation for it to be admissible as evidence.
Be proactive. While it can be tempting to dwell on your job loss, remember that there is a statute of limitations which places an invisible limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. We will be able to support you in quickly building a strong and persuasive case.
If you believe that you are the victim of wrongful dismissal, you could be entitled to compensation. Let our experienced, professional attorney help restore your reputation and claim the damages that you deserve. Call the Law Office of Juan Lucas Alvarez today at 305-442-7375.