In our last post, we talked about a few steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of losing your job. In many cases, losing your job isn’t a malicious act by an employer or a product of wrongful termination. However, there are cases where an employer tramples on the rights of an employee and thus turns the firing into an illegal act of wrongful termination.
This brings up an important question: what do you do when you think you’ve been wrongfully terminated?
The first thing you need to do is carefully consider your situation. It can be easy to be biased about your own predicament and incorrectly think you were fired illegally.
But there are actions and circumstances that are illegal for an employer to use as justification for firing someone. As examples, an employer can’t fire you in violation of a contractual and employment agreements; they can’t fire you based on discrimination; and they can’t fire you because you were reporting illegal activity, nor can they take retaliatory action against you.
If these circumstances apply, then you have to go about proving your wrongful termination case. There are three big factors to prove. The first thing you have to do is prove you were participating in a protected activity (such as participating in an investigation or reporting illegal activity). Then you have to prove the punishment you received from your employer (in the case of wrongful termination, it would be the firing). Last but not least, you must connect the two events and show how your participation in a protected activity was tied to your firing.