Wrongful dismissal refers to the unlawful termination of the employment contract of an employee by an employer. If you feel that your employer has dismissed you from your job without reasonable notice or legal/contractual reason, then you can consider filing a lawsuit for things such as breach of contract, compensation, and lost wages.
Nevertheless, winning a wrongful dismissal lawsuit can be complicated due to some legal complexities that you are unfamiliar with and your employer can use for their defense. Therefore, it is crucial for you to hire a good lawyer to represent you in your endeavor. Below are some of the ways that a lawyer will help you with your wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
1. Offering preliminary guidance
The loss of a job can be disappointing and devastating. It can become easy to lose sight of the big picture and what you need to do next as even the initial steps of filing a lawsuit can be confusing. A lawyer experienced in employment law can definitely assist you in the preliminary stages, allowing you to gain confidence and proceed.
The employment lawyer that you hire will assess your situation to establish if indeed your dismissal was unlawful. For instance, the expert will review the contract that you signed to determine if it was breached when you were terminated. If the employer had offered you a severance package, your lawyer will determine if the compensation is appropriate and will meet your needs at least until you secure another job. Once the lawyer is done with the assessment of your case, he or she will give you some insights on how the case is likely to proceed.
2. Proving constructive dismissal
Constructive dismissal is a situation where an employee is not fired by his/her employer but rather resigns voluntarily as a result of unbearable workplace conditions. For instance, if you resigned due to drastic changes in your job description, subjection to harassment or significant reduction of your pay, your lawyer can advise and help you prove that your case is an example of constructive dismissal.
It is important to differentiate between wrongful and constructive dismissal because if you declare that your case is based on one but it is really the other, this could lead to a judge throwing the case out or delays as your lawyer makes corrections to your case.
A lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence to sufficiently prove your employer’s conduct made it difficult if not impossible to do your job and it amount to your resignation. A constructive dismissal case has the same consequence as a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Therefore, if your lawyer succeeds in convincing the court that you were subjected to constructive dismissal, your employer will be required to compensate you for losses incurred as a result of the job termination.
3. Proving unreasonable notice period
Legally, employees are typically entitled to a certain notice period while others do not have this privilege due to the nature of their work. Your eligibly termination notice depends on various factors including the nature of your job, whether you are under contract, or part of a union.
Your lawyer will not only help you establish if you were to receive notice before your termination but will also determine how long the amount of time prior to your dismissal should have been. If you qualified, the lawyer will find ways to convince the court that your job termination was unlawful because you were not given notice or it was unreasonably short. This will make you eligible for compensation for things such as lost wages and pay in lieu of sick days and vacation.
4. Pushing for your compensation and reinstatement
A wrongfully dismissed employee is entitled to damages for the unlawful termination of his or her employment contract. Once your lawyer presents sufficient evidence to show that you have been wrongfully dismissed, the employer is required to compensate you. The court will come up with a certain amount that the employer should give you as compensation for the losses incurred as a result of your termination.
Sometimes, you may find the amount that the court rules as compensation unreasonable compared to the losses that the wrongful termination has caused you. In such as case, your lawyer can help you appeal the lawsuit for compensation deemed more appropriate. In the event that you remained on somewhat amicable terms with your employer and you want your job back, your lawyer can also push for your reinstatement.