Wrongful termination can be frustrating, because you find yourself out of a job when you don’t feel there was any valid reason for your firing. In some cases it comes down to a difference of opinion in your work abilities or other factors of job performance. But in other cases it can be wrongful in the legal sense of the word.
If you’ve been fired because of retaliation, discrimination, whistle blowing, or even because you refused to comply with an order that was illegal, you may have a case that you were wrongfully terminated.
The myths of wrongful termination
There are several myths surrounding wrongful termination. The three most common are:
1. You won’t be able to sue if you’re an independent contractor and not an employee.
2. You won’t have grounds for a lawsuit if you quit instead of being fired.
3. You won’t be able to sue if there was no actual discrimination.
These myths are simply inaccurate, as there are many different options for bringing a lawsuit. It’s always best to work with an attorney and ask questions so you can understand all the choices you have when it comes to whether there is a case and how best to proceed.
What employees should know
Employees should know that wrongful termination happens, and that they need to be aware of their rights. Understanding your rights is one of the first steps toward determining if there is a claim to be made and if you were wrongfully terminated. There may be times when it was wrong in a moral sense to terminate someone from employment, but there were no legal rules broken. Working with an attorney to understand that difference and determine what is truly best for your particular situation is important.
Being fired and exercising legal rights
If you have been fired, you don’t have to just accept that. Your legal rights are important and should be exercised. Talk with an attorney, and make sure you document information from your workplace. The more information you have to provide to the legal system, the stronger your case may be. While it’s not always possible to prove wrongful termination even in cases where it actually happens, knowledge and a good legal advocate can help you move your case forward, and can give you the best chance of appropriate and fair compensation.