Everyone wants to be "The Terminator," and no one wants to be "terminated." Sometimes, you end up being "the terminated" because of a wrongful or illegal reason. If that is the case for you, you can hire a wrongful termination attorney and turn the legal tables on end for your "terminator." All sci-fi movie references aside, that would be great, would it not? Here is how to first determine that you have been wrongfully terminated, and how to proceed with your case.
All the Things for Which You Cannot Be Terminated
Every employee everywhere is expendable. Only very few employees are so special that they cannot be replaced until someone of equal or better skills comes along. While that is all well and good, you may have had an employer who was just looking for an excuse to fire you, and he/she decided to use the wrong excuse.
Some of the reasons why you cannot be fired include:
- Lengthy illness and recovery when you took FMLA, sick pay, vacation time, etc.
- Any of the "-isms" (e.g., ageism, racism, sexual orientation, etc.)
- Being a single parent (Do not laugh; at one time single mothers were fired and labeled as "whores" regardless of their single-motherhood circumstances.)
- Disabling condition for which your employer has to make special accommodations
- Filing personal injury reports or requesting worker's compensation for a work-related health issue
- Filing a lawsuit against an employer for harassment or missing wages (It is considered retaliation if your employer fires you, although you may not want to stick around if you are suing him/her/the company.)
- Failure to comply with boss's or supervisor's demands when it placed you in a dangerous position
Any of the above usually qualifies you for a wrongful termination suit. The only thing that could prevent you from filing a suit is if you told your boss/supervisor that he/she could not fire you because you quit. Hopefully you did not do that. Then, your lawyer can help you with the rest of the case.
Bring Proof of the Reason for Being Fired (If You Can)
Your story has to match the proof. When an employer fires you, he/she has to provide you with a slip that verifies that you have been fired. He/she may also provide you with reasons for the termination, but you have to have it in writing. If you cannot get that in writing, such that a piece of paper verifies what you are saying about being fired, your lawyer can make a formal and legal request for the reasons for the termination. Do not be surprised if the document shows reasons other than what you were told, since most wrongful terminations have to be covered up. Your lawyer can still pursue compensation for lost wages and lost income for the year (or until you have secured new employment).