Layoff announcements from companies in the technology and finance sectors have unleashed an atmosphere of fear among employees who are concerned about whether their jobs are secure. There are no laws that prevent companies from cutting their workforce. Nonetheless, a company cannot use downsizing as a pretext to fire an employee for discriminatory or other unlawful reasons.
The South Carolina employment lawyers at The Noble Law represent employees in wrongful termination lawsuits against their former employers. Determining your eligibility to file a wrongful termination lawsuit is the first step toward taking action to recover damages from a former employer who has treated you unfairly or inequitably.
What circumstances suggest that an employee was wrongfully terminated?
Every wrongful termination lawsuit is unique to the specific facts and circumstances under which an employee was fired. Situations that might suggest a wrongful termination include:
- A breach in the terms of a written employment contract that defined a term of employment.
- One or more workers who belong to a specific protected class of individuals are fired (e.g. termination due to gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc.).
- When an employee is terminated in retaliation for alerting authorities of the employer’s violation of laws, rules, or regulations.
- Termination occurs after the employee exercised a right to take Family and Medical Leave or some other legally protected absence from work.
In every case, an employer will likely attempt to justify a termination as having a legitimate basis with no discriminatory intent. However, an experienced workplace discrimination attorney will conduct their own analysis before reaching that conclusion. The legitimate basis claimed by employers is very often just a pretext for what is, in fact, wrongful.
What evidence do you need to prove wrongful termination?
Evidence is critical in every wrongful termination lawsuit. Your attorney will need to see as much information about your job as you can provide, including:
- Any employment contracts, human resources handbooks, and other documents and materials that define and describe your job position.
- Your pay stubs, salary history, attendance records, and requests for leaves of absence, regardless of whether they were granted.
- Worker’s compensation claims or other applications for benefits that you might have made.
- All written communications between you and any management or human resources personnel, such as email, text messages, memos, and handwritten notes.
- Reports of disciplinary or corrective actions that might have been filed against you.
- Layoff or termination notices that you received.
- Information about your interactions with other employees, including references to any comments made by other employees.
Gather as much of this evidence as possible before you consult with a lawyer. If you do not have some or all of these documents and materials, it’s always good to write a narrative of your workplace duties and responsibilities and the events that led to your termination. Share that with your attorney as well.
What damages might you be able to recover if you qualify to file a wrongful termination lawsuit?
If your case goes to trial, and the jury finds that your employer did violate federal or state laws, you may be entitled to compensation for lost benefits, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and in extreme cases, punitive damages as a way of sending an even stronger message to the employer about the depth of their wrongdoing.
Time is Limited to File Your Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If your wrongful termination case is under federal law before the Equal Opportunity Commission, you only have 180 days after the date of your termination to file a legal claim with the agency. Other statutes of limitations apply if your wrongful termination lawsuit concerns violations of North or South Carolina state law.
If you think your termination was a violation of your rights, please contact a wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible after you were fired. Don’t let the clock run out before you’ve had a chance to challenge the actions of former employer.
Call The Noble Law to Learn More About Your Wrongful Termination Claim
The success of a wrongful termination claim often depends on the skills, knowledge, and experience of the employment discrimination lawyer who represents the terminated employee. For almost 15 years, The Noble Law has protected the rights of wrongfully terminated employees in North and South Carolina against employers whose improper motives and policies have trampled on those rights.
Call our offices in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, or Mount Pleasant to speak directly with a lawyer who will assess your case and give you straightforward answers about whether you qualify to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Remember – We Listen. We Hear You. We Understand. We also make it our business to get you the remedy you deserve when your employer treats you unfairly.