What to Do If You Are Wrongfully Terminated in Ohio?
Unjustly losing a job disrupts your life and finances like almost nothing else. How you respond within the first minutes and days of receiving a termination notice you did not expect and do not believe you deserve — or actually hearing, “You’re fired!” — will make a world of difference in whether you can quickly move on to a better employment opportunity. What you do immediately in the wake of being let go can also set the stage for holding your former employer accountable for a wrongful termination in Ohio.
What Is a Wrongful Termination?
You should never lose or leave a job without a good, legally justifiable reason. You can leave to take a better position, or the organization can let you go for economic reasons. Poor performance and misconduct also constitute legitimate reasons for getting fired. Read this related article: Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in Ohio?
A wrongful termination, however, happens when an employer does any of the following things:
- Retaliates against a worker who reports unlawful activity, engages in permitted union activity, or takes legally protected leave (such as FMLA).
- Terminates a worker on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, pregnancy, or military service status.
- Makes working conditions so intolerable that a worker is forced to quit, which courts and lawyers call “constructive discharge.”
A Columbus, Ohio, lawyer who handles wrongful termination cases will also use the term “adverse employment action.” Getting fired for an illegal reason is as adverse as an employment action gets. It also gives the wrongfully terminated person the legal right to seek compensation and damages by filing an employment lawsuit.
To maximize your chances of succeeding with a wrongful termination suit, take all these four steps.
4 Steps to Take When You Are Wrongfully Terminated
Step 1. Remain Calm
No matter how sudden or unfair a firing strikes you as being, do not cause a scene, seek revenge, damage equipment, or email a list of grievances to management and staff. Taking the high road makes it easier to find a new job and prevents your former employer from presenting evidence that they had to let you go because of poor behavior. Also, if you are terminated for an unlawful reason, but you later do something that would be a perfectly legitimate reason to be terminated (such as causing a scene or damaging equipment) that could severely hurt any legal claim you may have.
Step 2. Ask for a Written Notice
Ask your employer to specify in writing why you are being fired.
You will be asked to present this information when you apply for unemployment benefits. The termination notice will also be a key piece of evidence in a wrongful termination or employment discrimination lawsuit. During an arbitration hearing or court case, the employer will need to prove the truth of each of the statements it made in the written termination notice.
However, your employer is not required to give anything in writing – so if the employer refuses, just try to document the reason for termination yourself.
Step 3. Have Any Severance Agreement, or Other Separation Contract Reviewed by an Employment Lawyer
This is a good idea even if you do not think you were fired unjustly.
Employers must comply with federal and state laws when offering separation pay, making payouts for unused leave, transferring retirement funds, offering ongoing health insurance coverage, and requiring compliance with nondisclosure and noncompete agreements. An attorney with in-depth knowledge of wrongful termination of employment law will ensure that the employer has met all its legal obligations.
Step 4. Keep Lines of Communication With Supportive Co-Workers and Supervisors Open
Circling back to step one in many ways, do not burn bridges just because you lost your job. Maintaining professional relationships with fair-minded supervisors and keeping up friendships with empathetic co-workers will benefit you in many ways after you get fired.
First, having a support network will make it easier to survive a period of unemployment with your mental health and self-esteem intact. Beyond offering moral support, your contacts at your old job can offer leads on and introductions to future employers.
Last, if you do have grounds for a lawsuit based on an illegal adverse employment action, you may need to rely on testimony from supervisors and co-workers who can corroborate your statements about what happened. Knowing how to directly and confidentially get your employment lawyer in touch with people who can support your claims will help avoid obstruction and blowback from your former employer.
To get in touch with lawyers who handle wrongful termination lawsuits in Columbus, OH, call the Friedmann Firm at 614.610.9755 or fill out this online this online contact form. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations.
Rachel and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.