You have been at your job for a few years, and you focus on doing your work well. You had great reviews and thought that everything was going well, but that changed when you found a notice on your desk that you were fired. You had 24 hours to remove your items and get out of the building.
Why? You can’t be sure, but a coworker had previously suggested that you were on the radar of the new boss because of your skin color. The company had recently changed hands, and the new owner brought in many new staff members. It was clear by looking at them that no one else there looked like you.
If it is true that you’ve faced racial discrimination on the job, then you’re in a position to file a lawsuit against your employer. It is illegal to be terminated due to your gender, ethnic background, disability, religion, race or other protected categories.
What can you do if you think you’ve been wrongfully discharged?
If you believe that you’ve been wrongfully discharged by your employer, then there are some steps you need to take. To start with:
- Don’t act out against your employer.
- Get in touch with your attorney to begin building a case based on your termination.
- Ask your employer about why you’ve been terminated. You may be surprised by the answer, or you could find that they have none to give.
- Ask for and negotiate a severance package.
- Find out who made the decision to terminate your role.
- Look into your employment contract to make sure it hasn’t been violated.
Is an employer required to offer a severance package?
An employer doesn’t have to give you a severance package unless your employee handbook or manual states that they have a policy requiring them to do so. Even if there is no requirement, you might be able to negotiate a severance in exchange to waive a legal claim against the employer. You should speak with your attorney about the possibility of a severance package or wrongful termination claim and which one makes more sense in your situation. Some companies may be more likely to settle with a severance rather than to deal with the potential for a wrongful termination claim.
If you’re wrongfully terminated, stay calm. With the right help, witnesses, documentation and support, you can fight back against the wrongful termination that cost you your job and income.