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An employee who is fired from a job illegally is said to be wrongfully terminated and may have a valid cause of action to file a lawsuit. Determining if the employee was legally or illegally terminated depends on the situation and the circumstances involved.
Most employers are careful to take steps to avoid wrongful termination, so it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an Athens attorney experienced in employment law. The lawyer can determine if your situation warrants a wrongful termination lawsuit and, if so, how best to proceed.
States with public policy exceptions, implied contract exceptions, and “implied-in-law” (or good faith) contracts are more likely to side with fired employees in wrongful termination suits than other states. Still, there is no guarantee that you will win. Financial compensation is the most frequent form of restitution in successful wrongful termination cases. However, the court may also impose a reinstatement order requiring your former employer to bring you back on board — provided you agree to return to work. Returning to your job is a possibility if your relationship with your employer remains in relatively good standing despite the wrongful termination suit.
While most law firms will remind potential clients that the time required to resolve legal suits can be unpredictable, wrongful termination lawsuits are often resolved in less than three years, with many cases taking less than a year. The EEOC imposes a filing deadline of 180 days from the last date of alleged discrimination for those who qualify. Therefore, it is important that individuals who believe they have been wrongfully terminated take action as soon as possible. The LawInfo directory can help you find Wrongful Termination lawyers near you in Athens.
You can file a wrongful termination claim with the federal government via the Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can also file a claim with the Alabama employment agency. Wrongful termination suits alleging that an employer fired an employee due to discrimination based on sex, gender, or race are generally covered under federal law, so you have protection in these situations, even if your state government follows at-will employment policies.
Proving a wrongful termination case can be difficult, particularly in states with “at-will” employment policies, which allow an employer to fire an employee at any time, for any reason, and allow an employee to quit or leave the job at any time. Wrongful termination of an employee is an exception to at-will policies.
Evidence is the most important element in proving a wrongful termination case. You will need to collect all relevant employment documents and correspondence, as well as your contract, if one exists. This evidence can help determine, with legal counsel’s help if possible, if any laws were broken, especially regarding discrimination or retaliation.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons outside of your existing contract or reason that breaks federal, state, or local laws. An employee of a company who has been laid off or fired for illegal reasons may have a case to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against their employer.
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.