Everyone wants a steady, decent-paying job to ensure a secure and happy life. But sadly, the American workforce remains no stranger to wrongful termination. In 2022, and since the start of coronavirus-related lockdown measures in March 2020, employees across the U.S. filed 1400 false termination lawsuits.
This form of firing occurs when an employee is dismissed from their job in a way that goes against their state’s employment laws or the terms outlined in their contract. Fortunately, you can file a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in such a case to help you recover damages such as lost wages and benefits, job hunting costs, and other expenses, along with emotional distress. You may even seek punitive damages in some cases.
Understanding The Reasons Behind Wrongful Termination
The first step in filing a wrongful dismissal lawsuit is evidence gathering. The cause for such termination can vary. Discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, or public policy violations are common grounds for such terminations and so, the evidence you need will depend on your case. But whatever the reason may be, proving wrongful termination demands robust evidence.
Your wrongful termination lawyer will help you gather evidence such as a copy of your employment contracts, emails, performance appraisals, witness statements, or records of discriminatory incidents. If applicable, you might also utilize photographic or video evidence.
So, when faced with the question of how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, evidence gathering is the first step you need to take.
Types of Evidence You Need for Your Wrongful Dismissal Lawsuit
Understanding what evidence you need is fundamental to building a strong wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Let’s discuss the key elements necessary to present your case effectively.
#1. Employment Records
Your employee record plays a critical role in the success of your false termination lawsuit. Collect your pay stubs, time sheets, and contracts showcasing employment terms. Performance evaluations and disciplinary records also provide a comprehensive view of your work history. They are tangible proof of your contributions and behavior in the workplace. These documents serve as concrete evidence.
#2. Emails and Correspondence
Similarly, emails and correspondence are invaluable in false termination lawsuits. Relevant emails include those that address your supposed performance issues or conflicts. Also, gather any written communication, such as memos, letters, or messages that align with your claim.
These documents provide a clear trail of communication. They serve as compelling proof of your experiences and interactions with your employer.
#3. Witness Statements
Witness statements are also equally important. You will need to collect statements from colleagues, supervisors, or anyone who can vouch for:
- Your work performance
- The circumstances surrounding your termination
- Instances of discrimination or retaliation
Witnesses can shed light on events, behaviors, and attitudes in your former workplace. So, their testimonials provide firsthand accounts of your wrongful termination. They strengthen your argument, making it more compelling and difficult to dispute.
#4. Documentation of Discrimination or Retaliation
Gather records detailing any discrimination or retaliation you face. This may include emails, memos, or witness accounts. Additionally, collect evidence demonstrating a pattern of unfair treatment. It will showcase consistent behavior that supports your claim. These documents are solid proof of a hostile work environment. Remember, your unfair termination lawsuit involves establishing a clear pattern of discriminatory or retaliatory behavior, not just one or two incidents.
#5. Your Own Records
Keep detailed notes or a journal, documenting incidents, conversations, and actions relevant to your situation. Additionally, retain records of any internal complaints made about workplace issues. These personal records can be powerful, supporting evidence for your claim.
Remember, the strength of your unfair termination lawsuit often hinges on the quality and quantity of evidence you can provide. Thorough, well-documented records not only enhance your credibility but also provide a compelling narrative. They can strengthen your position and increase the likelihood of a favorable legal outcome.
How to Preserve and Organize the Evidence for Your Unfair Termination Lawsuit
Your false termination lawsuit relies on the evidence you collect. That’s why you will need to preserve and organize your evidence. Here’s practical advice to ensure your evidence is easily accessible:
#1. Secure Storage
Store your documents in a safe, secure place to prevent loss, damage, or tampering. You can use a locked file cabinet or a safe deposit box.
#2. Chronological Timeline
Create a detailed timeline of events leading to your wrongful termination. This chronology provides a clear overview. But more importantly, it helps your attorney understand the context of the discrimination you’ve experienced.
#3. Digital Tools
Use secure digital tools or cloud storage for easy access and backup. It protects your evidence from potential physical damage and theft.
#4. Consultation with an Attorney
Seek guidance from a wrongful termination lawyer. They can help you preserve evidence, ensuring it remains admissible.
#5. Seek Legal Guidance
You should seek professional help even before filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. Here’s why:
- A competent attorney will assess your situation and let you know if you have a claim.
- They also help you identify and focus on the most relevant evidence.
- You can openly discuss the details of your case with a professional lawyer. You have attorney-client privilege.
- A skilled attorney will formulate a robust legal strategy based on the evidence.
- Your lawyer will file the lawsuit in the stipulated time.
#6. Build a Strong Case
Build a strong case, whether your employer is a small local company or a corporate giant. Doing so requires meticulous planning and presentation. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Identify the most compelling pieces of evidence.
- Spell out the connection between the evidence and your wrongful termination claim.
- When needed, seek expert witnesses or professionals who can validate your claims.
- Craft a cohesive narrative and present your evidence in a logical sequence.
- Identify potential counterarguments and address them preemptively.
Contact A Wrongful Termination Lawyer
The importance of gathering strong, irrefutable evidence in wrongful termination cases cannot be overstated. It forms the bedrock of a compelling legal argument, providing clarity and credibility to your claim. Also, understanding the complexities of employment laws and legal procedures is crucial. That’s where consulting an employment lawyer comes in.
Are you looking for a wrongful termination attorney? Barrett & Farahany is here to help uphold your rights. Call us at 334-237-7773 or fill out our online form to request a consultation with an attorney.