So, you’ve been fired, and you don’t know why. And you probably think that there’s nothing much you can do about it now. Well, you’re wrong. If you’re let go without a reason, chances are you’re dealing with unfair dismissal. The exact definition may vary depending on your location, but at most cases, it can be categorized as wrongful termination if your dismissal was harsh, oppressive, unfair or without a reason.
Being fired from a job can trigger strong emotions such as disappointment, sadness, depression, anger, in one word- confusion. It’s easier to deal with dismissal if you know the right reason behind it. But what if the reasons are unclear? You shouldn’t just collect your severance pay and leave. If you suspect you’ve been unfairly dismissed, and this includes situations like discrimination based on your gender, race, sexuality, age, etc; maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands.
1. Try resolving problems with your employer
We all know that being fired can be hard to deal with. It can provoke strong emotions that may lead to unjustly actions. But it’s important to stay calm. Before taking things to court, you should try resolving problems with your employer.
Organise a one-on-one meeting with your employer or HR and ask him to explain the reason behind your dismissal. If he can’t provide the exact explanation or refuses to do so, you’re definitely dealing with wrongful termination. Even if he claims you made a horrible mistake that cost the company millions, without giving you a chance to explain your actions, he’s violating your rights. In case he suggests a settlement, don’t accept his first offer. Try compromising until you’re happy with the outcome whether if it’ getting your job back or getting the monetary compensation.
2. Keep calm and call a trusted colleague
In case the first step didn’t go as planned, you’re probably entering a state of despair. You’re sitting in your house, with a cardboard box filled with various papers and personal belongings from your office. You keep wondering why did you get fired and not someone else, and was there any way that you could have avoided it.
In case you still can’t come up with an explanation behind your termination, and you’ve recked your brains for the reason, call a trusted colleague to help you. Whether you need someone to help you cope with the emotional aftermath of getting fired or someone to perceive the situation objectively, arranging a meeting with a friendly colleague is getting one step closer to the solution. He or she can provide support as well as an honest assessment of your performance at work, and maybe you’ll get an insight into the real reason.
3. Check your contact
Before making any actual claims about being unfairly dismissed, you should check your contract carefully and see if the reason why you’re fired is listed there. For example, if you’re fired because you failed to perform a job that isn’t listed in your contact, you’re being unfairly treated. The same goes with issues related to gender, race, sexual orientation, and disabilities.
On the other hand, check if you willingly signed a contract that states that you can be terminated without a reason. If that’s the case, even though it sucks, you can’t do much about it as it’s legally justifiable. This type of employment is known as “at-will employment”. However, if you’re pregnant, you can’t be legally fired even with this type of contract.
4. Determine if you’ve been wrongfully terminated
If you’ve carefully read your contract and found no reason for dismissal, then you’re probably being unfairly fired. Besides violating your human rights, you’re unfairly dismissed if you didn’t get a job after a probation period, even though the contract you’ve signed promises otherwise, you’re fired for taking maternity or paternity leave, or you’ve let go for exposing firm’s malpractices.
You’re being wrongfully terminated if you’re forced to leave your job because of your employer’s behavior or job environment. This is known as constructive discharge and it includes situations like sexual harassment in the workplace or exposure to danger without proper insurance.
5. Take legal action
Once you’re almost certain that you’ve been wrongfully terminated, you can take your actions in several directions. But maybe the safest and smartest thing to do is get legal help.
If you’re in a situation where you’re unfairly treated, consider hiring reliable workplace harassment lawyers. Whether you need advice from the experts in Employment law or you need good representation in the court, hiring a professional and reliable lawyer is the perfect solution for your situation. Such experts will help you understand your rights and contract, and provide legal advice when the situation arises. Besides that, reliable lawyers will reassure you, they are available to negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best outcome for you.
6. Try to move on
We all know how stressful it can be to lose a job. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world. There is no reason to lose hope. It’s essential to get back on your feet and find a job after you’ve been fired.
Once you recover from the painful and stressful period in your life, you will start getting job offers and going to interviews. The future employer may ask you to explain the reason behind leaving your last job but don’t drag the whole wreck train in front of him. Just briefly explain the situation. Rehearse your answer and be honest.
Being fired, especially if it’s unfair, is never a pleasant experience. But don’t wallow in self-pity and sadness, and don’t let the one awful company’s policy get you down. If you can’t make a settlement with your employer, reach out to your colleague for emotional support and help. Determine if you’ve been unfairly dismissed and if necessary, take legal actions against your employer. Hire reliable and trusted lawyers to guide you through the process. Once the process is finished, try to move on and find another job.