Few things in life are as stressful as loss of employment. A sudden loss of financial security can leave you shaken, confused and uncertain as to your next step. There are, however, things you can do to ensure that you have received all financial and non-financial benefits available to you.
It is important to remain composed when your employment has been terminated. As soon as possible, you should record in a journal exactly what you recall about your firing. Who was present? What was said to you? What did you say? Were you provided with any paperwork? Is your employer alleging that you were dismissed for cause? Were you provided with any notice or payment in lieu of notice? Were you required to sign anything? Do you have an employment contract? Be as thorough as possible as memories fade, even in a short period of time.
Next, make an appointment with an Employment Lawyer in your area. Many firms, including Doyle Rivet, offer free consultations to help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation from your former employer. Depending on your circumstances, even if your employer maintains that it had “just cause” to terminate your employment, you may be entitled to contractual, statutory or common-law compensation.
If you had an Employment Contract with the employer, your Employment Lawyer will review it to make sure all proper processes have been followed. Some contracts have specific termination provisions and mechanisms of appealing your employer’s decision while others do not.
If you do not have an Employment Contract but have been terminated without cause, your Employment Lawyer will assist you in comparing any termination pay and benefits you have received (severance) against what you are entitled to receive. An experienced Employment Lawyer may be able to negotiate additional compensation for you without resorting to a lawsuit. In other instances, it may be necessary to sue to enforce your rights.