Termination of any kind stings, no matter what the circumstance. However, an unfair termination is not only difficult to deal with but might also be unlawful, depending on the reason for it. Before you accept the terms of any termination process, ask for the reason -- in writing. There are steps you can take if you feel you were unfairly released from employment.
Request a Reason
Ask your employer to put in writing the reason you were fired and any information on the circumstances that led to this point. Your employer might not be willing to do so, and if this is the case, immediately record the events as you remember them with as many details as possible. Write down names, dates, what was said and any other pertinent information regarding the termination process.
Unfair and Wrongful Termination Differences
There is a difference between unfair and wrongful termination, and it is important to understand that difference before you proceed. You don't want to spend time and money pursuing a legal case that you have no chance of winning against your former employer. An unfair termination could be a personal determination that you were fired unfairly. A wrongful termination means that your rights were violated in some way, and you may have some legal recourse.
Consult a Labor Attorney
If you even suspect any labor laws were broken, consult a labor attorney. It is in your best interest to do so quickly, because according to the Employee Issues website, there is a short statute of limitations on this type of legal process. This is the best course of action because there is no one law that applies to an unfair termination. Rather, there are multiple federal laws that deal with wrongful discharge, many of which pertain to an individual's constitutional rights.
You must prove in a court of law that your employer had every intention of letting you go without due cause. This can be very expensive at a time when you have little to no income. Generally, you know you have a good case if a lawyer takes it on contingency, which means you don't pay unless you win, according to the Fair Measures website. If an attorney asks you to pay by the hour, you either don't have a great case or you don't have one worth much money. Also, if you work in a small industry where you see all of the same faces at conferences, trade shows and industry events, the rumor mill surrounding your case could cost you other opportunities.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.