In the film series Rocky, chief protagonist Rocky Balboa overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds in each movie to achieve boxing greatness. Whether he has to fight a towering Russian champion or deal with the death of a dear friend, Rocky prevails at the end of every movie. He even made applying a raw steak to a boxing-induced bruise a cool thing to do.
Getting fired from a job feels like Rocky did on many occasions. The key is to brush yourself off, get back on your feet, and fight back against the disruption of your career. Getting fired is one thing, as it happens to most of us unless you are the one who does the firing. However, losing your job for the wrong reasons hurts much more than a standing 10 count.
Wrongful termination comes as a sudden, severe shock that can send someone reeling for months, if not years on end. What any professional has to do after receiving a pink slip for unjustified reasons is to know how to handle a wrongful termination.
After shaking off being knocked down by your employer, the first item on your to-do list is to collect and organize the evidence against the party or parties that wrongfully terminated you. Losing a job should involve some paperwork, from copies of performance reviews to the document that says, “Thanks for playing, you’re free to go.”
If you cannot gather all the documents you need to submit a convincing claim of wrongful termination claim, fill in the gaps by writing a detailed description of what happened during the gaps.
Contact a California Employment Attorney
Ideally, the best time to contact an employment lawyer is when you believe your employer is on the verge of firing you for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, wrongful terminations often do not flash warning lights that alert us to the coming turmoil. Although shock and anger can derail common sense after a wrongful termination, you need to shake the negative thoughts and get busy by working with a lawyer who specializes in handling wrongful termination cases.
You can watch all the Dr. Phil videos available in cyberspace for emotional support, but the most important thing to do after a wrongful termination is to focus on the work ahead and not the injustice in your rearview mirror. Letting your emotions control you can lead to several poor decisions that hurt your chances of winning a claim and/or a civil lawsuit.
Trying to get even by hurting your employer is a recipe for disaster. The best advice is to move on by securing employment and leaving your wrongful termination case in the capable hands of an employment attorney.
File a Claim and/or Lawsuit
If you have enough persuasive evidence that your employer wrongfully fired you, a claim filed with a government agency and/or a civil lawsuit might be on the horizon. Filing a claim with the proper government agency represents an effective strategy to force your former employer to change its errant ways. Going the civil lawsuit way can get you damages from your former employer.
Filing a claim and/or a lawsuit must follow certain procedures, including submitting the right paperwork before the statute of limitations runs out.
Ask for Damages
The result of a civil lawsuit should be more than just a slap on the wrist for your former employer. You want to file a lawsuit that awards you one or more types of damages.
Compensatory damages cover the cost of the back wages and benefits that you should have earned while still on the job. You might also be able to sue for damages that cover the cost of emotional distress, as a wrongful termination can trigger several life-altering feelings.
Your employment lawyer can help you decide what types of damages you should fight for during a civil lawsuit.
Other types of damages awarded at the end of a civil lawsuit include punitive and reinstatement, as well as court and legal fees.
Work with the Right Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Fighting back like Rocky Balboa against your former employer should not be a “you against the world” battle. Hiring an experienced employment attorney who handles wrongful termination cases counteracts the legal team assembled by your former employer. It is not just the legal expertise that an employment lawyer brings to the table.
The best wrongful termination attorneys keep clients focused on the prize, instead of stewing in a raw cauldron of negative emotions that can lead to bruises that a raw steak cannot heal.