How to File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the essential steps to file a wrongful termination lawsuit with the skilled guidance of Waltman Employment Law. Learn your rights, legal procedures, and how we can assist you in seeking justice.

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Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired in violation of legal protections or the terms of an employment agreement. If you find yourself unexpectedly dismissed from your position and suspect the termination was unlawful, filing a wrongful termination lawsuit may be the right course of action. You may be able to claim compensation or even get reinstated,

Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit not only addresses your personal grievances but also serves to uphold crucial employment standards and discourage your employer from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

We understand the emotional and financial toll a wrongful termination can take on an individual. With our comprehensive experience in such cases, we are equipped to assist you in navigating the complexities of a wrongful termination lawsuit effectively. You can contact a wrongful termination lawyer at our law firm if you have been unjustly fired, and let us fight for you.

Understanding Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination, in its most fundamental sense, occurs when an employment termination breaches either an employment contract, an implied agreement, or specific public laws. It goes beyond dissatisfaction with a job loss—there are established legal grounds for categorizing a termination as wrongful.

Some of the legal grounds for considering a termination wrongful include:

  1. Violation of anti-discrimination laws
  2. Termination as a form of sexual harassment
  3. Retaliation for the employee’s lawful acts, such as whistleblowing or filing a complaint
  4. Dismissal in violation of labor laws
  5. Termination in breach of an existing employment contract (including a collective bargaining agreement) or implied contract
  6. Dismissal in violation of the state’s public policy

Termination is a part of business, but not all terminations are lawful. Contrasting wrongful termination with other forms of dismissal, here is what sets it apart:

  • Legality: A standard layoff may happen for economic reasons and is typically legal, whereas wrongful terminations are not.
  • Compensation: Victims in wrongful termination cases are entitled to compensation, whereas that is not so in a regular dismissal unless there is a severance agreement or other similar arrangement in place.

At Waltman Employment Law, we guide our clients through every step of filing a wrongful termination claim—from evaluating the circumstances of their termination to understanding their rights and the potential to seek justice in civil court. Our commitment is to ensure fair treatment for all employees in the workplace. Check out our piece on understanding your rights against whistleblower retaliation if you have been terminated for being a whistleblower.

Legal Foundations of Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination, a complex facet of employment law, hinges on several legal pillars. At its core, it involves the unlawful dismissal of an employee, breaching either explicit contractual terms or broader legal protections. Discrimination stands as a primary ground, where termination is based on race, gender, age, religion, national origin, or disability, contravening federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Retaliation, another cornerstone, occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activities, such as whistleblowing or filing a complaint against workplace violations.

Breach of contract, whether through violation of written agreements or implied terms, provides another basis for claims. This encompasses dismissals that go against the stipulations of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreements. Lastly, violations of public policy are recognized when terminations are for reasons that society deems unacceptable, such as firing an employee for taking jury duty or refusing to engage in illegal activities at the behest of an employer.

Each of these grounds underscores the legal landscape employees navigate when contesting a wrongful termination. With the stakes high, understanding these foundations is crucial for any claimant. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, thousands of discrimination and retaliation claims are filed annually, highlighting the prevalence and significance of these issues in the workplace. Engaging with an experienced employment law attorney can provide the necessary guidance and representation to navigate these challenging waters effectively.

How to File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination: Overview of the Steps

When you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated, the immediate steps you take can significantly impact the strength of your case. Our approach at Waltman Employment Law is diligent and calculated to ensure your rights are fully protected. Below are the basic actions to take in proceeding with a wrongful termination claim:

1. Document Everything: It’s crucial to compile any relevant documents, including:

    • Employment contract
    • Termination notice
    • Performance reviews
    • Commendations or reprimands
    • Any correspondence with your employer
    • Emails
    • Witness statements
    • Company Policies

This documentation creates a timeline and serves as evidence to support the facts of your case.

2. Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the basics of wrongful termination. Together with your attorney, you will need to figure out the grounds on which your employment has been terminated. This will determine how you seek redress. Wrongful termination lawsuits are filed depending on the basis of termination.

For example, if your termination was due to a protected characteristic like age, your employer violated federal and state laws on discrimination. As such, you would pursue a claim via the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or by filing in the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Whereas if your termination was a breach of your employment contract, you would go ahead with a lawsuit claiming damages and other appropriate remedies.

3. Take Action: Once you have put together relevant evidence for your case and have a good understanding of how your right has been violated, you can proceed to take appropriate action against your former employer with the help of a skilled legal professional.

Contact us at Waltman Employment Law as soon as possible to evaluate your situation and take legal action on your behalf. Our dedication to justice means we vigorously advocate for wronged employees, and with our history of handling complex employment cases, we are well-prepared to guide you through this challenging process.

Filing a Complaint: The Legal Process

The initiation of legal proceedings in a wrongful termination case often begins with a formal complaint at the relevant agency. Our team guides you through each critical phase with diligence and compassionate advocacy.

  1. Determine the Validity: Before taking action, we meticulously assess your case to ensure that wrongful termination laws apply. Factors include breach of contract, discriminatory practices, or retaliation for lawful conduct.
  2. Consult State and Federal Laws: We consider both state and federal regulations, as your claim may be under the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or similar state agencies.
  3. File with Appropriate Agency: If filing with the EEOC, a charge must be brought typically within 180 days. State time limits may differ. We’ll prepare and file all necessary documents, adhering to these strict timelines. Also, if we are filing a direct lawsuit, we make sure to do so within the statute of limitations prescribed by the law.
  4. Agency Investigation/Hearing: Upon filing, the agency will review and may investigate. We stand by your side, providing updates and strategic counsel throughout this inquiry. Some agencies may also hold a hearing allowing both you and your employer to present your case. In such an event, we assist you in presenting your case to maximize your chances of recovering compensation.
  5. Right to Sue: Should the agency issue a Notice of Right to Sue, we’re prepared to escalate your case to court.
  6. Litigation: Our courtroom savviness becomes your asset in litigation. Whether in federal or state court, we can provide sound representation and a compelling argument for your wrongful termination claim. In the end, our goal is a resolution that upholds your rights.

We fully understand the weight wrongful termination carries and its impact on your life. As your advocates, we shoulder your legal burden in line with our firm’s core values of justice and employee protection.

Negotiation and Settlement

It is possible that while pursuing resolution at a federal or state agency or during litigation, a settlement is proposed. If both parties are willing to negotiate, we will be your partner through the process to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not cheated.

We calculate the potential value of your claim based on lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages. We then communicate with the opposing party to reach a fair agreement. If alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are explored, we are also able to represent your interests. Whether in mediation, arbitration, or conciliation, we uphold your rights above all else.

In all cases, we aim to provide tailored advocacy consistent with our ethos of Fighting for Employees Against Abusive Workplaces. As your legal allies, we are dedicated to championing your rights relentlessly, negotiating tenaciously to obtain the settlement you rightfully deserve—reflecting both the tangible and intangible costs of your many wrongful termination cases.

Evaluating Your Case with Waltman Employment Law

When you approach us to evaluate your case, we embark on a comprehensive analysis to determine the validity and strength of your claim.

  1. Initial Consultation:
  • We begin by listening to your story.
  • We assess the circumstances of your termination.
  • We pinpoint any potential violations of state or federal law.
  1. Gathering Documentation:
  • We systematically compile evidence, such as employment contracts and communication records.
  • We review performance evaluations and any disciplinary action.
  1. Legal Analysis:
  • We apply our vast knowledge of employment law to your unique situation.
  • We identify if your termination involved any form of illegal retaliation or discrimination.
  1. Advising on Potential Outcomes:
  • With candor, we discuss likely scenarios, whether it’s a settlement or court proceedings.
  • We tailor our counsel to align with your employment goals and desired resolution.
  1. Taking Action
  • We initiate the necessary steps required to escalate your case to the relevant authorities
  • We stay on your case, keeping you informed, following up, and pushing until we achieve the resolution you require.

Our dedication is to deliver justice and fair treatment for employees who’ve been wronged. We take each case personally, ensuring a thoughtful, meticulous assessment of your wrongful termination claim. Our mission extends beyond achieving favorable outcomes; we aim to restore your professional life’s dignity and respect. Rest assured, at Waltman Employment Law, we are in this together, and our commitment to your case reflects our firm’s ethos of fighting against abusive workplaces and positioning ourselves as your ally in these challenging times.

Partnering with Waltman Employment Law

We understand how devastating wrongful termination can be. Being removed from your position, especially for illegitimate reasons, is not only a financial setback but also an emotional ordeal.

If you’re facing wrongful termination claims, remember, you’re not alone. We encourage you to take the decisive step towards defending your rights. Contact us, and let’s begin this journey to justice together. Your initial consultation will be the start of rectifying the wrongs you’ve endured. Book your free initial consultation today, and let us help you.