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The do's and don'ts of a wrongful termination

Being fired from your job can be devastating. With one employment decision, your life can be turned upside down. Losing your job can contribute to significant stress, depression, not to mention the financial challenges that come with being unemployed.

This is why it may be necessary to take legal action if your termination was wrongful. While filing a legal claim cannot undo an unlawful decision, it can be an effective way to collect compensation for financial damages and hold an employer accountable for violating your rights. However, what you do and say after your termination could significantly affect any legal claim you may have.

There are a number of things a person could do to hurt their case; the following actions and behaviors should be avoided.

  • Don't lash out against an employer on social media
  • Don't make threats
  • Don't be bullied by an employer who may mislead you about your legal options
  • Don't sign any legal document or agreement without consulting an attorney
  • Don't automatically assume that quitting is preferable to being fired

There are also several things that you should do if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated.

  • Do take time to consider any options or offers made by an employer
  • Do keep track of any written or verbal exchanges addressing the termination
  • Do find out who made the decision to fire you and get a reason for the decision
  • Do make sure you have a copy of an employment agreement, if available
  • Do comply with workplace termination policies to avoid further complicating the situation

Avoiding or taking these actions can significantly impact any wrongful termination claim you may decide to file. However, perhaps the most important decision you can make in light of your termination is consulting an attorney.

Speaking with a lawyer familiar with employment laws can help you understand your options for filing a wrongful termination claim and can provide critical guidance in the event of litigation. A legal representative can also help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your options for pursuing a legal claim and compensation for damages.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Wrongful Termination Claims," accessed on Feb. 23, 2015

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