Navigating a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Being fired often feels unfair, but in some circumstances, your termination could violate state and federal laws. When an employee is fired for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation, there are grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
A wrongful termination lawyer can help throughout the process of filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in order to recover damages and hold employers liable for illegal terminations. Attorney Dan A. Atkerson is adept at navigating the legal system so clients know what to expect in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Serving Allen, Plano, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas, our law firm can help you with your legal needs.
It’s helpful for people who have been wrongfully terminated to have a general understanding of what to expect when filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. The following is a brief explanation of what to expect.
Determining If Wrongful Termination Occurred
Before filing a wrongful termination lawsuit, it’s essential to determine whether a wrongful termination actually occurred. Wrongful termination may have occurred if the termination happened due to:
- Discrimination against the worker’s gender, race, age, disability or other legally protected status
- Retaliation against the worker for reporting workplace discrimination
- Retaliation for whistleblowing
- The employee felt forced to leave their job due to a hostile work environment
Meet With a Wrongful Termination Attorney
Meeting with an attorney is an essential first step when a wrongful termination has likely occurred.
Skilled wrongful termination attorney Dan A. Atkerson will ask questions and review the details of your termination to determine whether you have a strong case to bring to court.
Once the decision to file a lawsuit has been made, it will be necessary to prepare for litigation. During this time, evidence to support the wrongful termination claim will need to be gathered.
Evidence often includes pay stubs, termination notices, employee evaluations as well as:
- Electronic or written communications showing harassing or prejudiced behavior from an employer
- Employment data showing the company has a history of discrimination
- Eyewitness accounts from other co-workers who witnessed harassment or discrimination in the workplace
Filing a Lawsuit
Next the lawsuit must be drafted, filed with the court, and the former employer (defendant) served. The defendant then is given time to answer the claims in the lawsuit.
Both the defendant and plaintiff are given an opportunity to ask written questions to the other side to gather information including witness statements and photographs through the written discovery process.
Depositions are next, during which time each side is asked questions under oath but outside of court.
Disputes May Resolve Before Going to Trial
In some cases, a wrongful termination lawsuit may be resolved before going to trial. Often, the judge will require plaintiffs and defendants to try to resolve their conflict before going to trial. If both sides are able to agree on a settlement, a trial may be avoided.
Pre-trial settlements can be quite substantial. Look through our law firm’s record of verdicts and settlements for an example of amounts that may be collected.
Going to Trial
When both sides can’t come to an agreement, the lawsuit will then go to trial where the case will be decided by a jury.
If the jury decides in favor of the terminated employee, they may award such damages as:
- Lost pay
- Lost benefits
- Emotional distress
Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, it’s important to speak with an attorney to determine whether you have a strong case for filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. To discuss your claim with attorney Dan A. Atkerson, please call (214) 383-3606 or contact us online.