It’s always stressful to lose a job, no matter the circumstance. When you’re unemployed for any amount of time, it can be difficult to pay your bills and keep up with other financial responsibilities. However, if you were unjustly fired from your job, the situation can be even more anxiety and frustration-inducing. There are three key things to keep in mind when dealing with this trying time.
1. Get A Lawyer
Unfortunately, many people live paycheck to paycheck, and getting fired can put their entire livelihood in jeopardy. While unfair dismissal by nature is unlawful, a lot of employers count on the power imbalance between them and the employee and think that there isn’t much the person who got fired can do about it. Even if the person in question is in a more desirable financial situation, some employers believe that most people will simply not know what their rights are and how to go about protecting their interests. As a general rule, a business will already have a legal team working on their behalf, which gives them a false sense of security.
It’s true that in most other situations, hiring a lawyer can be expensive, and not something everyone can afford. However, experienced attorneys that specialize in employment law are aware of all the implications of getting fired without cause, and they are more than likely not to only ask for a modest feed in order to assess your case, instruct you on the next steps you should take, and proceed to take your case to court if you decide to do so. Filing a claim against your previous employer can help get you back on your feet by providing you with monetary compensation to cover your expenses.
When choosing a lawyer in a situation like this, it’s important that you not only find one that has plenty of experience with similar cases – which will ensure that they will know all the tricks and tactics a seemingly unbeatable defense will tend to deploy, but that you also find one that understands the full impact losing your job in such a manner has had on your life. By having the right lawyer working on your case, you will certainly have a much better shot at getting the justice you deserve.
2. Keep Records
It’s also really helpful to have documentation any time you’re involved with an employment-related dispute. Sometimes, employers will deliberately change important parts of your contract in order to bully you into quitting your job – or it could be a precursor to getting fired. In their mind, doing something like this can serve as proof that you were doing an unsatisfactory job when it isn’t the case. Any kind of record that can serve as proof to corroborate any claims or arguments made in your defense are very valuable.
You should keep all documents related to your employment, including contracts, work performance reviews. This can include having copies of documents detailing the job description and responsibilities you were supposed to fulfill, transcripts from any meetings where your performance was discussed, records of performance evaluations, and communications between you and your employer that can shed light on what really happened in the lead-up to your termination.
Employers, at least the ones that commonly do these things, will often avoid having any written trail of what they’re doing and will prefer to have these kinds of conversations face to face. While you can’t help it if your boss asks you to come to their office to talk, what you can do is send an email right after, that highlights the things they said, and anything else that could serve as proof that the conversation took place, and what exactly was said. When doing this, make sure to point out exactly how what your employer wants is contradictory to the contract you have.
3. Reach Out To Your Union
If you are a member of a union, they might be able to help you fight your case. While it’s true that they are most likely already aware of the existence of different laws pertaining to work ethics and workplace disputes, by reaching out to them with your appeal for help, you will increase awareness about your issue specifically. If you’re unsure of who your union rep is, you can ask your coworkers, or even look for the information online. Depending on the country you are in, there might be a highly developed union system that might include many levels of representation, from the shop level to the national level.
In a lot of places, whether or not you’re a member of a union, if you happen to be employed by a company that is over 50 employees strong, they are required to have someone on staff specifically for this purpose. A union rep might be able to get more leniency for you if your employer is uncooperative, or at the very least, they’ll provide you with all of the resources and information necessary to help you win your case.
These three things are just some of the many things you can do if you were unjustly fired from your job. While it might not be easy at all, knowing what to do in this kind of situation is half the battle. Fighting for your rights and taking legal action might be difficult, but it is not impossible, and you should always do everything you can to make sure you get what you’re rightfully owed in situations like this.