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Preparing for a Case Against an Employer

Preparing for a Case Against an Employer


If you’re unfortunate enough to be laid off or fired, you may be faced with negotiating a severance package. To negotiate a fair deal, it’s important to know what to expect and how your employer might go about handling the negotiation. However, in some cases you may have been hurt on a job, preventing you from working.  You may also have been fired for reasons outside of your control, or fired for reasons outside of what is legal to fire someone. If that’s the case, it may turn into a more serious legal situation. To prepare for this scenario with your employer, here are steps for preparing a case against the employer:


1. Hire an Attorney


Finding a lawyer for a legal case against an employer can be a daunting task. It is important to understand the nuances of what constitutes proper legal representation and how to locate the right attorney for your particular case. Before beginning your search, it is important to understand the type of legal action you are seeking, including any laws or regulations that may be applicable to your situation. A workers’ compensation lawyer will understand the intricacies of worker’s compensation and how best to help you. Additionally, you should consider the experience level required by the lawyer and their expertise in both labor law and civil litigation. When searching for a lawyer, look for someone with an impressive record of success with cases similar to yours. Ask questions about their education and credentials, as well as any professional organizations they may belong to. You should also determine how long they have been practicing law and how many cases like yours they have handled over the years. Make sure that you feel comfortable with this individual before investing in their services, as it is critical that you trust them as your advocate throughout the legal process. You should consider hiring an attorney that specializes in labor laws, wrongful termination cases, or another area that is relevant to your case. Hiring an attorney will help you be prepared for the worst-case scenario.


2. Gather Evidence


When bringing a case against an employer, it is important to have evidence that can support your claims. There are various types of evidence that could be helpful in court. These include witnesses who can testify about any mistreatment or discrimination they may have seen or experienced, documents such as contracts and job descriptions which provide proof of the terms of employment, and financial records which show how much money has been paid out by the employer in question. Other forms of evidence might include emails between parties related to workplace issues, audio recordings from meetings or conversations where inappropriate behavior was discussed, and video footage taken on company premises. 

If you believe you were fired for a certain reason, then make sure to document it.  When possible, listen to and record conversations with your employer so that you can present them if necessary. Record any conversation if you reasonably believe that something inappropriate was said. If there is any evidence of discrimination of any kind, or if there is evidence that the way you were fired violates your employment contract, those can be foundational pieces of evidence for a case. The most effective cases will have the most relevant evidence towards a specific accusation.  An attorney can help you identify what the best pieces of evidence will be for your case.


3. Take Notes


Taking notes will help keep you organized and on task. For example, if your employer is firing employees left and right, then note how many people have been let go for what reasons. Also, write down how much severance has been offered to other employees in similar positions who were fired.  Having information can strengthen your case, especially if unjust treatment is being spread around. In that vein, gathering detailed information about your legal rights and obligations is also essential when considering bringing a lawsuit against an employer. This includes understanding federal and state laws governing employee-employer relationships, such as minimum wage regulations and discrimination policies. Researching precedents set by previous court decisions related to similar cases can also be helpful in determining best practices for pursuing litigation if necessary.  Doing your research is a huge game-changer when considering legal action. In some cases, employers may try to take advantage of the complexity of business law to try to pressure you into giving up your lawsuit, but knowing for yourself what laws govern your circumstances will give you a leg up against such tactics.


4. Take Reasonable Accommodation


Therefore, it’s important to remember that you have rights. Your employer is not exempt from adhering to the law, and if they are firing you wrongly, you could get severance pay or even get your job back. In many cases, being fired is hard to handle. It is an emotionally trying experience that can result in a loss of sleep, fear of going to work, and more. If you’re concerned about being unjustly fired, then make sure to take the right amount of time to care for yourself. If you feel unsafe interacting with your employer, make that clear to your attorney and be sure that the defense party is aware of it as well. 


5. Have a Plan


As it’s not a guarantee you’ll win your case, having a plan in place will make things easier if things don’t go well.  Make sure you have enough money saved to take care of expenses until new work can be found, and be sure that your friends and family are aware of your situation.  As well, as you find the time, make sure to be looking for other work opportunities, as it’s possible that even a positive resolution will not be enough for you to want to keep working in a place where you’ve caused such a stir.  Having the confidence that you’ll still be able to provide for yourself and your family will help you to be firm in making your case against your employer. And, as always, make sure to keep in communication with your friends and loved ones; you never know who might be able to help should things go poorly.


6. Keep it Respectful


If you face an unjust firing, you should take all necessary precautions to protect your rights, but also make sure you don’t do anything to violate the rights of the company.  Be open with your coworkers if they have questions, but don’t go around spreading rumors or seeking to sabotage your employer. Harmful action you take against your employer could be a reason for losing your case in court as well, so be as respectful as you can when interacting with representatives of your company. While it may be difficult to be respectful in this circumstance, you likely have the law on your side if you’re considering a case in the first place, so remembering that your adherence to the law is crucial in your case may help.  


Dealing with a lawsuit in any circumstance is rarely fun for any party involved, and can represent a huge investment of time, money, and emotional energy from both sides.  However, there are things you can do to make the process less taxing on you. Being prepared is key in any situation, and the more evidence you have on your side, the better. Having a system of support in place will make the lengthy process flow more smoothly, and remembering the end goal can make the intervening bumps in the road more tolerable.  With the right approach and a good deal of grit, you can ensure that your rights as a worker are protected.