There could come a point in your career when you receive the dreaded termination letter, phone call or email from your employer. It doesn’t matter if you were expecting it or not, it stings just the same.
As an employee, you have the right to know why you are losing your job. Not only does this help you determine your next steps in regard to the position you just lost, but it can also give you valuable guidance on how to approach your next job.
There are both legitimate and illegitimate reasons for termination. For example, if your company is downsizing as a result of poor performance, they may have no choice but to lay you off. It’s disappointing, but at least you know that it was nothing you did from a performance perspective.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, your employer could terminate your employment for a variety of illegal reasons, ranging from discrimination to retaliation against speaking up.
Regardless of what you are first told by your employer, dig around to verify that your termination was legal. While doing so, discuss your situation with the human resources department while also closely reviewing your employee handbook and employment contract. This will give you a better idea of your legal rights.
If you find that your termination was a violation of the law and/or your employee contract, discuss it with your employer to determine if you can find common ground. If that doesn’t work, you may need to take additional action to hold your employer responsible for their actions.