A wrongful termination occurs when an employer has terminated an employee for an unlawful reason or in violation of an employment contract. While there are plenty of legal reasons that an employer may fire an employee, such as not fulfilling their job duties or attendance issues, wrongful termination often occurs based on:
- Breaches of employment contracts
- Whistleblowing actions
Former employees have the right to file a wrongful termination lawsuit if they believe they have been illegally fired from their job. These lawsuits often allow ex-employees to seek wrongful termination settlements from their former employer.
For example, if you were experiencing some form of discrimination in the workplace and believe your employer fired you because you filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), that would be a situation where you may be dealing with wrongful termination.
When it comes to pursuing wrongful termination settlements, there are some easy mistakes that can be made. These mistakes can impact your case and the potential outcome, no matter the individual details. Below, we explore a few common mistakes that ex-employees make when they pursue a settlement
Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. It is general information meant to inform. Consult with a wrongful termination attorney for legal guidance in your specific case.
Delaying Filing Your Claim
Waiting to file your claim is a big mistake that many former employees make. As with many other types of legal matters, filing a wrongful termination claim has a deadline. According to the EEOC the time limit for filing a charge of discrimination is 180 calendar days after the day the discrimination took place.
The time limit is shorter for someone who is a federal employee. Age discrimination cases do have extensions on the deadline in certain cases.
Delaying the filing of your claim does not help you in the long term. The sooner you file, the more time you have to collect relevant evidence and work with a wrongful termination attorney to strengthen your case and open up the door to settlement negotiations.
Determining the amount of time you have to file your claim can be complicated, so consider speaking with a wrongful termination attorney as soon as you decide that you want to file a claim to ensure that you are within the time limit.
Not Keeping Records
Not keeping any records of the events leading up to your termination is a big mistake. While your memory of events is certainly going to be helpful to your claim, keeping exact records as events happen can be equally or more important.
Detailed record-keeping is a crucial step for any employee who is facing any kind of wrongful termination. This will ensure that you have specific examples and documentation of anything that can help prove your wrongful termination.
Some things to keep records of include:
- Any emails, text messages, letters, and other communications you receive
- Eyewitness statements and contact information
- A written account of events from your point of view
- A copy of your employee handbook and policies
- A copy of your employment contract if you have one
Be as specific in your records as you can be, including things like dates, times, and names of people involved.
Records help to support your claims and boost the credibility of your case. Good, detailed records will describe the events and actions that you believe to be tied to your wrongful termination.
Seeking to File a Claim Alone
While you can certainly move to file a claim on your own to pursue a wrongful termination settlement, consulting with a lawyer can be an important step. Since wrongful termination claims can be complex, working with a wrongful termination attorney can make a large difference as opposed to pursuing your case on your own. These kinds of cases can be challenging, and the assistance of an attorney can provide you with a key advantage.
An attorney will have specialized knowledge of employment law and what laws, both state and federal, may apply to your case. They will be able to look over the details of your case and help determine if you have grounds before moving to pursue a wrongful termination settlement.
Employers will have their own lawyers and they may try to argue that you were fired for other reasons such as poor performance, bad behavior, or attendance issues. Working with an attorney of your own will help your case to move forward and defeat evasive tactics from your employer.
Coffman Legal, LLC is an employment law firm based in Columbus, Ohio that provides representation to workers throughout the state. They represent workers who face a range of workplace issues including mistreatment, harassment, and workplace violations such as wrongful termination. With a team of experienced wrongful termination attorneys, they employ the best law practices across the board to represent their clients to the best of their ability. They handle all types of wrongful termination claims, and they offer free and confidential consultations. You can connect with them online at mcoffmanlegal.com or over the phone at 614-949-1181.