Just because you’re terminated from your position doesn’t necessarily mean your employer violated the law and/or your employment contract. However, if you have reason to believe this is the case, it’s critical to dig around for additional information to back up your claim.

There are many steps to take as the victim of wrongful termination, with these helping to guide you through the process of protecting your legal rights:

  • Keep your cool: Regardless of how you learn about your termination, take a deep breath, think things through and don’t make any rash decisions. For example, if your supervisor terminates your employment to your face, you’re tempted to angrily ask them questions. This won’t get you anywhere, so stay calm as you think about what to do next.
  • Review your employment contract: This is where you’ll learn more about the termination process, as well as your rights during this time. For instance, if your contract guarantees severance pay, you’ll want to move this conversation high on your to-do list.
  • Talk to the HR department: They’re the ones who can assist you with everything related to your termination, such as the details of your severance package. Request that they put any formal offer in writing for your review. A verbal offer is not good enough, as it gives your employer the room they need to make changes without notice.
  • Don’t say “yes” right away: Even if your employer makes you a reasonable offer upon termination, don’t immediately agree. Furthermore, don’t sign anything, as doing so could rob you of some of your legal rights.
  • Don’t resign: While the circumstances surrounding your termination will guide your thinking through this step, don’t let your employer force you to resign. This can impact you in many ways, such as your ability to receive unemployment compensation.

When you take these steps, you’ll feel better about protecting your legal rights and getting everything that’s owed to you during this difficult time.

The one thing you want to avoid is letting your employer push you around. You have rights and a contract, so do your part in ensuring that your employer doesn’t take advantage of you.