Winning a wrongful termination case is not easy. Do not think that your lawyer will do magic. At least not without you.
Most states have an “at will” policy when it comes to employment. Meaning that both parties can terminate the employment without specifying the reason. Therefore making it difficult to prove that a wrongful termination took place.
Since it was you who was fired, you should help your lawyer a great deal. Here is what you need to do exactly.
Record the details
Right after the termination, filter your feelings to get the facts straight. Write down for yourself all circumstances surrounding the event. Try to stay chronological with your impressions. Was someone else involved besides your boss? If yes, mention them.
Have your facts
If your wrongful termination just occurred and you are determined to seek legal help, then do this. Send a follow-up email to your supervisor.
Let us say you were fired during a meeting. So basically you have no written proof of how and why did the conversation take place. An email summarizing the content of discussion will be a strong evidence to pass onto your lawyer later.
Make sure you are calm enough before writing the email. The point is not to argue or to persuade – just to document.
Keep a record of the dates as well. When were you hired? When were you terminated? As well as your recent monthly wages and dates of all positive and negative events. Indeed, wrongful termination happens for unfair reasons. But for an objective picture, you need to mention things such as promotions and positive reviews as well.
However, when the time has come to talk about the hostile treatment you have experienced, try to be as specific as possible. Because it is of no use if you recall an event saying it was “just unfair.”
Also, be to the point. Your lawyer is not your therapist. Do not talk about events that are irrelevant to your case.
Be ready to pitch your case
Good attorneys have hundreds of pending cases. So the first thing you can do for your lawyer it to briefly present your wrongful termination case. Again, be to the point. Here is a rough outline of what you should say:
- How many years you had been working for the company
- What type of reviews did you receive
- What was the reason for your termination if any
- If you were accused of something specific, how did you defend yourself?
- Your potential facts
- Your salary
Contact an attorney early
If somehow you believe that a chain of events will soon lead to your termination, do not hesitate to meet with a lawyer. Just one call or meeting with an attorney will help you understand what your future actions should be.
It is relieving to know that your wrongful termination case in safe hands. But you cannot hand a folder of documents to your lawyer, head home and watch a TV show. The lawyer-client relationship is cooperation, which takes responsibility on your behalf as well.