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3 elements required to prove retaliatory firing

You took a stand, stuck your neck out for what you believe is right, and now you're pretty sure that you got fired for it. Retaliatory firing is absolutely unlawful. But, how can you prove that your firing was retaliatory? It is doubtful that any employer would freely admit to a retaliatory firing, after all.

In broad terms, proving that an employer fired you has three components. First, it is important to demonstrate that you took action as part of some protected activity. Protected activities include cooperating with investigations or subpoenas, or reporting illegal activity to a regulatory agency, among others.

Second, you must demonstrate that you suffered some specific punishment (in this case, firing). While it may seem obvious that the punishment in such a case was the firing, you can bolster your credibility by documenting other actions that your employer took, which may have also constituted punishment. Were you given a series of challenging assignments before the firing? Were you denied some benefits or privileges?

Third, you must demonstrate that the firing resulted from your participation in the protected activity. This is usually the hardest aspect of building a case for retaliatory firing. While you feel as though it is obvious that you were fired for your protected actions, your employer is likely to claim that you were fired for unrelated and legitimate reasons, such as poor performance.

If you believe that you were the victim of a retaliatory firing, don't wait to get the help you need to prove it. An experienced employment law attorney can assist you in examining and correlating all of your evidence to build a strong case for justice.

Source: Findlaw, "Retaliation and Wrongful Termination," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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