Wrongful termination, which you might also hear referred to as wrongful dismissal or unfair dismissal, is a relatively common workplace issue. It refers to when an employer terminates an employee’s contract without providing a fair or legal reason for their decision.
Every employee should understand wrongful termination to identify if and when they need to take action if their employee fires them. An employee may need professional help for wrongful termination issues if they are unable to resolve the issue with their employer directly.
In this article, we’re going to cover the basics of wrongful termination so you know how to identify it and what to do if you’re a victim of unfair dismissal.
What is Classed as Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination of a contract occurs when an employer either provides no reason or an illegal reason for terminating an employee’s contract. In most wrongful dismissal cases, the employer doesn’t provide a fair reason for contract termination, but these decisions are often rooted in discrimination or personal biases.
Under employment and labor laws, an employer must provide a justified reason for terminating an employment contract, such as gross misconduct or serious theft on the employee’s part. These laws inhibit the dismissal of an employee based on protected characteristics, such as age, ethnicity, race, religion, sex, pregnancy, military status, disability, or personal issues that the employer has with an employer.
What Can You Do if You’re a Victim of Wrongful Termination?
If you’ve recently been dismissed from your job by your employer and they haven’t provided a fair reason for doing so, you must take action immediately.
Your first step is to speak with your employer one-on-one to ask them why they have dismissed you. Arrange a meeting with them, where you can sit down together and talk about the situation.
During this meeting, your employer may be able to provide fair reasoning for their decision. You might both realize that the dismissal was due to a misunderstanding you can resolve, and your employer might offer your job back.
Alternatively, you might not get an answer from your employer, and they might be completely uncooperative. If this is the case and you get nowhere in your one-to-one meeting, you might need to escalate the issue even further.
Contact an employment lawyer, who can work with you to gather the details of the problem and build a case. They may liaise with your employer on your behalf to identify the reason for dismissal and collect evidence to build your case even further.
If necessary, your employment lawyer will recommend that you take your case to the employment tribunal or go even further and file a wrongful termination claim in court.
They will represent you in the courtroom if necessary to ensure the claim ends in your favor, whether you wish to get your job back or want a change in careers and choose not to return to your previous employer. If you choose the latter, you can opt to receive compensation for the financial losses and psychological distress you’ve experienced because of the wrongful dismissal.