It's never easy to learn that you're losing your job. Even if you were hoping to move on soon, there's something about being terminated that will turn your life upside down.
As frustrated as you may be, it's critical to protect your legal rights after losing your job. Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
- The reason you were terminated: More specifically, determine if you are the victim of wrongful termination. Were you fired because of your age or sex? Were you fired because of your disability or religion? Once you understand the reason for your termination, you can decide what to do next.
- Review your employment contract: If you have an employment contract, review it to better understand your rights upon termination. It'll outline things such as when you'll receive your final paycheck and if you're eligible to receive severance pay.
- Don't act out: You're mad and frustrated, but you shouldn't retaliate against your employer. Don't yell at anyone on your way out the door. Don't break anything. Don't steal anything. Keeping your cool, as difficult as it may be, is a must.
If you have reason to believe you're the victim of wrongful termination, review your employment contract and employee handbook. Once you have a better understanding of both, turn your attention to your legal rights.
Depending on the evidence you collect, you may be able to take steps to seek compensation from your former employer. It's better to protect your legal rights than it is to let your former employer push you around.