When you are terminated from a job, you may be able to take legal action in an attempt to receive some compensation for your damages. Whether or not your lawsuit succeeds depends largely on the details of your case and your actions following the termination. If you are planning to take action, here is what you need to know.
Was the Termination Illegal?
How you feel about being terminated from a position has nothing to do with whether or not the actions of your former employer were justified. It depends solely on what actions of your employer led to the termination.
Illegal terminations usually fall under several categories. For example, if your employer breached a written or implied contract that you had with him or her, it is possible that the termination was illegal. Other situations that could be considered illegal include these:
- violating public policy, such as terminating you for attending jury duty
- discrimination, such as refusing to allow continued employment due to your pregnancy
- retaliation, such as terminating you for reporting the employer for unsafe practices
There are other situations that could be considered illegal. Evaluate your case to determine whether or not yours fits the bill.
Did You Sign a Release?
After terminating you, it is entirely possible that your employer asked you to sign a release. If you signed the release, it will be more difficult to recover damages for the illegal termination.
The release basically states that you will not take legal action against your employer for terminating you. Your employer probably offered you something in exchange for not taking action, such as a severance check.
If you have not signed a release yet, do not do so until you confer with an attorney at an employment law firm.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
What type of compensation you can receive depends largely on the damages you suffered from losing your job. It most cases, monetary damages are the most you can recover from an employer.
Monetary damages are based on several factors, including lost pay and benefits. The amount you receive could be based on how long it took you to acquire a new position and how much you are earning at that job if it less than you were earning before.
You can also ask for compensation for emotional distress. Losing a job can be a traumatic experience, and if you sought help from a professional, such as therapist, you may be able to receive compensation.
Regardless of whether or not your employer is willing to admit to the illegal termination or compensate you for it, confer with an attorney from an employment law firm. The attorney can research the situation and provide advice on proving your case and receiving compensation.