Before knowing whether you have legal options after getting fired for what you consider unfair reasons, you must understand what constitutes a wrongful termination.
If you were fired in northeastern Ohio for an illegal reason, you can do four things that will help you hold your former employer accountable for a violation of your right to keep a job you were doing well. First you should leave without causing a scene. Calmly demand a letter stating the reason you got fired and gather as much evidence as you can to make your case for being fired unfairly. At some point, contact an unfair dismissal attorney in Cleveland.
Keep reading to learn why taking each of these steps is essential.
Under laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Ohio Civil Rights Act of 1959, no employer can fire a worker for a discriminatory reason. These and similar laws that protect employee rights prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, gender, age, religion, pregnancy or military service.
Laws also make it illegal for employers to fire workers who report or participate in investigations into alleged discrimination, unequal pay practices, failure to pay minimum wages and earned overtime, safety violations, or sexual harassment and assault. Demoting and mistreating a worker until he or she decides to quit is against the law as well.
Firings for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons are called wrongful terminations. Forcing someone to quit to protect him or herself can also be deemed constructive discharge, depending on the circumstances. All three are against the law and give an affected worker grounds for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and to file a civil lawsuit.
Keeping your cool when unfair treatment culminates in an unfair firing can be tough, but resisting the urge to speak your mind — or worse — can benefit you in the long run.
To defend itself against a wrongful termination or constructive discharge claim, an employer must state a legally valid reason for ending the person’s employment. Hurling insults, damaging equipment, and threatening to sue on your way out the door will give your former employer evidence that you displayed a bad attitude or posed a threat to co-workers.
If your employer does not provide one up front, you have the right to calmly request a written explanation for why you got fired. Such a letter will serve as a key piece of evidence in any formal wrongful termination complaint because the employer will need to substantiate its stated reason for the firing. Keep in mind, however, that the employer does not have to provide a written reason why you were terminated. You have no legal right to this.
You should also substantiate your own claims of discrimination or retaliation by saving emails, writing notes about personal conversation and abusive comments, and asking supportive co-workers to provide statements or testify on your behalf. The best time to start pulling together such evidence is before you lose your job, so meeting with a Cleveland, Ohio, unfair dismissal lawyer as soon as you suspect that you might be terminated can help you understand how to document mistreatment.
Before or after a firing, seeking advice from an unfair dismissal attorney in Cleveland will clarify your rights and give you an ally in proving that your former employer should not have forced you out of your job. In addition to making it clear that a business broke the law, succeeding with a wrongful termination or constructive discharge claim can result in the payment of back wages with interest, other monetary and punitive damages, and, if the worker requests it, reinstatement to his or her former job.
You can schedule a free and confidential with an employment attorney by calling The Friedmann Firm at (440) 703-8550 or connecting with us online.