Employment law by both state and federal governments prohibits employers from terminating their employees under certain circumstances. According to the Department of Labor, even when an employee has been dismissed, in some cases they are entitled to unemployment and health benefits. If you think you were wrongfully fired from work, you should consider pursuing a wrongful termination claim against your employer. Your attorney can utilize depositions, often taken by nationwide court reporting companies, to determine the root cause of your termination. Here are some of the basic questions that your attorney is likely to ask your employer’s representative in a deposition.
Has Your Employee Lodged Complaints About The Company’s Working Conditions?
Employees are entitled to raise concerns regarding potentially unlawful activities and/or safety issues in the organization. Dismissing an employee for raising these issues can be considered retaliation and is unlawful.
Has Your Employee Complained of Harassment?
Employees are entitled to work in an environment free from discrimination. When an employee is harassed or witnesses a fellow work mate being harassed, they are expected to be able to file a claim without receiving retaliation.
Has Your Employee Complained About Discrimination?
It is unlawful to terminate an employee because of their age, religion, sex, race, or disability. In some states, discrimination expands even beyond that scope. The only time an employee can be lawfully terminated is due to their words or actions. Most other reasons for termination may be considered discrimination.
Has Your Employee Requested a Medical or Disability Accommodation?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled people have the right to particular accommodation in the workplace. These accommodations may also be provided under state or federal laws and also in many company policies.
Was Your Employee Slated to Qualify For Company Benefits?
Some employers avoid paying benefits such as 401k plans or stock ownership to their employees. These employers fire their workers when they are on the verge of qualifying for these benefits.
Have You Terminated Other Employees Under the Same Circumstances?
When determining the motivation behind terminations, your lawyer will be looking for consistency. If your employer has not terminated other employees for infractions that are similar to yours, they may be held liable for unlawful termination.
Has Your Employee Resumed Work After An Approved Leave?
Termination of employees for taking an unpaid leave in accordance with the “Family and Medical Leave Act” or for taking military leave is unlawful.
What Measures Did You Take to Solve the Employment Issue Before Termination?
In many cases, employers are required to make considerable effort in remedying problems that cause an employee to be less productive or to be a liability to the company. Also, an employee should be given significant warning before being fired. Firing an employee without trying to solve the underlying problems may be considered wrongful termination.
Do You Have an Employee Handbook That Highlights the Grounds for Termination?
It is important for any job contract to provide circumstances that would lead to an employee’s termination. In many organizations, employees are given a handbook that states the firm’s policies with regards to termination of employees. Your lawyer may want to ensure that you are fired for causes highlighted in the employee handbook; otherwise, your termination might be regarded as unlawful.
Did You Have a Social Relationship with the Employee?
In some cases, employers terminate their employees for personal reasons. An employer may fire their employee because they are involved in a social relationship that has gone sour. Termination under such grounds is considered to be wrongful.
Employees are protected against wrongful termination arising in certain circumstances. If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated from your position, you should consult an employment lawyer to help protect your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions.