What Steps Should Employees Take After Being Fired From a Job?
What Steps Should Employees Take After Being Fired From a Job?

What Steps Should Employees Take After Being Fired From a Job?

When one experiences the event of job termination, it can be quite challenging to figure out the next steps. In California, an at-will employment state, employers can end the working relationship without notice for almost any reason. However, this does not include reasons that stand in violation of federal and state laws protecting employees against unlawful terminations. As such, knowing one’s rights is crucial. Minnis & Smallets LLP aims to assist employees through crucial steps to undertake following a job termination. Contact our firm for case-specific guidance.

Understanding At-Will Employment

In California, most workers are at-will employees. This means that their employment can be terminated at any time, even for reasons that may seem unjust or absurd. However, it is crucial to note that there are numerous protections against unlawful firings under both federal and state laws.

For instance, firing an employee for discriminatory reasons, such as race, religion, sex, or retaliation for reporting harassment or exercising a legal right, is considered unlawful. Furthermore, if an employee believes their termination arises from a violation of their privacy rights or due to a request protected by the California constitution, they might be looking at a potential wrongful termination case.

Collecting Evidence

If an employee suspects their termination was unlawful, it is vital to gather all relevant information that could serve as evidence to support their claim. This includes the name and contact information of the person who decided to terminate them, the stated reason for their termination, contact details of any witnesses, and any emails or text conversations that could prove their termination was wrongful.

Seeking Legal Advice

Once the employee has gathered their evidence, it is advisable to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. At Minnis & Smallets LLP, our team will review the employee’s evidence, conduct an investigation, and help them determine whether their termination was unlawful.

Notifying the Correct Agencies

Before filing a federal discrimination complaint in court, employees are required to file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In California, workplace discrimination or retaliation complaints must also be filed with the Civil Rights Department of the State of California. If the employee believes they were fired due to a health or safety complaint, a retaliation complaint can be filed with the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

Protecting the Employee’s Reputation

In the aftermath of a job termination, it is paramount for employees to protect their professional reputation. Minnis & Smallets LLP advises employees to refrain from discussing their case with coworkers or on social media platforms until all legal proceedings have been concluded. It’s important to remember that anything they say or post online could potentially be used against them in a court of law.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits

Finally, employees should consider applying for unemployment benefits. While this might not be one’s ideal situation, these benefits exist to help individuals in between jobs and can provide some financial relief during this challenging time.

Take Action With Our Employment Attorneys

Losing a job can be a disheartening experience, but knowing the right steps to take afterwards can significantly ease the transition. At Minnis & Smallets LLP, we stand ready to assist in navigating these challenging times, offering our experience in wrongful termination cases, and providing robust representation for those who have been mistreated at work. Contact our firm today for steadfast legal representation.

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