Maybe it was something you saw coming or maybe it’s something you only thought happened to people who weren’t doing their jobs, but if you’ve been fired recently you owe it to yourself to have a firm understanding of what your rights are. Don’t ask your best friends or the barista at your favorite coffee shop. Ask someone who knows. Ask an attorney.
Here are seven things that can go wrong if you don’t:
Your Rights May Have Been Violated But You Won’t Know
It’s a good idea to hire a lawyer when you’re fired. Florida is an “at will” employment state, and your employer can terminate employment at any time. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve waived your rights. How well versed are you on employment law? You might not know all the types of discrimination and what makes a case or doesn’t, so consulting a seasoned employment attorney will help you make more sense of the issues at hand.
You Won’t Have Any Money
Most people don’t call an attorney when they’ve been fired, because they think money is tight. Yet most initial consultations are free. Your employer isn’t going to offer you money on their own but an employment attorney may see cause for them to do so. With their help you may find you are eligible for compensation.
You May Miss a Timeline
While a capital crime can be prosecuted at any time, that is not true of an employment discrimination complaint. There are strict timelines for filing on things like wrongful termination. If you don’t adhere to them, you can’t come back later and change your mind. An employment attorney can make sure all filings occur within the proper timeframe.
You Miss Something in the Severance Package
If your firing is the result of a layoff or restructuring, you may be offered a severance package. Not all deals are created equal and some severance situations are a company’s way to avoid a lawsuit. An attorney is able to tell you whether there’s the possibility for legal leverage.
You Won’t Have Footing to Negotiate
If an attorney finds something in your severance package, like a discriminatory retaliation for whistleblowing, s/he may present you with options like filing a complaint against your former employer or renegotiating the package. A request coming to your former employer on attorney letterhead is more apt to be attended to quickly.
You May Not Remember Details
It’s much easier to remember the critical details surrounding your firing, immediately after it happened than several months later. If you consult an employment attorney when you’re fired s/he can tell you whether you have cause for concern and what’s critical to establishing a case. It’s also easier getting help from others who may have witnessed the discrimination occur when you’re initially terminated than it is months later when you’ve lost contact.
Without an Attorney Your Ex-Employer Won’t Take You Seriously
Want immediate attention from your former employer? Hire an attorney. We’re harder to ignore.
Getting fired is one of the most difficult things you’ll go through in your professional life. Many people make uninformed decisions at this time because they let their emotions and growing concerns over money cloud their judgement.
If you were recently fired, contact the tenacious employment attorneys at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. The initial consultation is free, and we can help you gain some sense of order by assisting you in understanding your employee rights.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.