It’s painful, frustrating, and inconvenient to suffer through wrongful termination. This is especially the case when you love your job. Unfortunately, many CEOs experience termination for discriminatory reasons.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees an equal employment opportunity by prohibiting covered employers from firing workers based on protected classes such as color, sex, religion, and national origin. Despite this law, many employers violate this law. It’s also illegal for employers to terminate employment in retaliation, like when someone files for workers’ compensation.
While many people silently walk away after a wrongful termination, others get a termination lawyer to pursue justice. Some of those people win considerable compensation.
If you’re on the fence about suing for wrongful termination, here’s why you shouldn’t let it go.
5 Things to Keep Firmly in Mind
1. You can win your case even if you’re not entirely innocent.
Let’s say your employer fired you for a violation of company policy. That does not mean that you can’t win a wrongful termination lawsuit. On the contrary, many people do win their cases even after violating company policy.
For example, Stephen Lake, the former CEO for GBST, won $2.6 million after being fired in a way that violated his employment contract. GBST fired Lake for breaching the company’s share trading policy. He sold shares based on inside information.
It didn’t matter if the allegations against Case were true or not. He won his lawsuit. Why? His employer breached his employment contract.
You can win a case whether you had an employment contract or were working under at-will employment.
In Lake’s case, his employment contract set the terms for a legal dismissal. The company should have followed it. If you have a contract with your employer, they can’t just dismiss you because you break a company rule. Your employer must handle your dismissal according to your contract.
2. If you win your case, your employer will have to change.
There’s no doubt that winning an illegal termination lawsuit will force your employer to change.
Whether they’ve fired you for taking medical leave, being pregnant, or taking FMLA leave, chances are they’ll do it again to another employee.
Employers who routinely discriminate against workers and fire them without legal grounds don’t usually stop unless ordered by a judge.
3. You can win lost pay.
If you don’t pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer, you’ll have to find another job and deal with the lack of income during that time.
The benefit of filing a lawsuit is that your attorney will include lost pay in the damages they claim for your case.
If you have a strong case, there’s no reason not to pursue a lawsuit. In some cases, you won’t have to spend any money upfront. When you choose a termination attorney who will work on a contingency, you’ll have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
4. You might get to keep your job.
It doesn’t sound exciting to stay employed with an organization that just fired you unfairly.
Wrongful discharge is completely unfair. However, if you really enjoy your job, you may want to stick around for a while. You have invested heavily in your clients. You like working with a specific team. Regardless of why you want to stay, a lawsuit can help.
Your employer won’t necessarily be happy about it, but they might be forced to give you your job back.
Most people would probably just walk and cut their losses, and you may want to walk as well. However, if there’s something that keeps you attached to the company, a lawsuit can buy you some time until you can find an equal position with another company.
5. You’ve worked too hard to pass up compensation.
How many years of your life have you given to the company you were just fired from? How many hours have you dedicated to helping build and strengthen the organization?
It’s not fair to contribute so much of your time to a company only to be unfairly dismissed.
No matter how long you’ve been working for your company, you deserve to be treated with respect and not discrimination. A wrongful termination employee will help you get compensated for being treated unfairly.
Sometimes it’s hard to pursue a lawsuit when you don’t feel worthy of the money.
Society places a big stigma on money and the idea of winning thousands of dollars, or even millions, can feel wrong. However, you absolutely deserve compensation for all the trouble your employer has put you through.
Wrongful termination is a violation of employment law and you don’t deserve the struggle. If you win your case, your attorney can help you recover lost wages, lost benefits, and punitive damages.
Make things right through the court system.
If you walk away from a strong termination case, you’ll probably regret it later on. At the very least, pursuing a lawsuit will give you a sense of completion with the situation, no matter how things turn out.
However, when you hire an employment attorney, you’ll have a good chance at getting the monetary compensation you need to move on with your life.