In a perfect world, everyone would tell the truth, even at work. In the real world, sometimes co-workers, and even bosses, can spread rumors and make false accusations. Even the smallest accusation could cost you your job. Once this happens, you have the right to sue your former employer for wrongful termination, but the process isn't an easy one.
Determining Your Case
In most cases, employers hire employees on a contract or at-will basis. If you were terminated before the end of your contract, your employer may have violated your contract, giving you a reason to sue. If you were terminated as an at-will employee, you may still have a case depending on the nature of your termination. For example, if you were wrongfully terminated after a co-worker or boss made a false accusation, you may have a strong case if a lawyer can prove reasonable doubt in your defense.
Creating a Written Account
Create a written account of your termination, starting with any documents you receive from your former employer. A written record will help a lawyer review your case and decide how to proceed. You should start by collecting documentation from your exit interview, as well as any correspondence you have between yourself and your former employer after your termination. Take notes about the nature of your work and your termination as well; writing things down helps you remember details you may forget while discussing the case with a lawyer.
Hiring a Lawyer
While you can file a civil suit against your employer yourself, a lawyer will make the process smoother and more effective. Select a lawyer that specializes in wrongful termination suits and has a proven track record. Contact several lawyers until you find one you are comfortable working with, trusting your lawyer will help put you at ease. Once found, the lawyer will set up the court date and walk you through the trial process.
Make sure you have a good reason for filing a wrongful termination suit and that you'll feel comfortable proceeding against your employer in court. Some former employees decide to sue their employers out of anger and then regret the decision later when the anger subsides. Keep in mind that court cases can take several months and will cost you in terms of legal fires and hiring a lawyer. Discuss the cost with your lawyer before agreeing to move forward.
Amelia Jenkins has more than eight years of professional writing experience, covering financial, environmental and travel topics. Her work has appeared on MSN and various other websites and her articles have topped the best-of list for sites like Bankrate and Kipplinger. Jenkins studied English at Tarrant County College.