In the modern work environment, it is not unusual to come across callous, unfair employers, or those who subject their employees to unusually tough working conditions. Thus, cases of wrongful termination, discrimination, and employee maltreatment are commonplace.
This is where employees need to fight for their rights and take the appropriate action. Unfortunately, suing your employer is not the easiest thing in the world. It comes with a lot of fear and self-doubt. But when it is about protecting your interests, all fear should go out the window.
Whether you have been wrongfully dismissed from your workplace or are facing any form of termination, this is the legal way to file a lawsuit against your employer:
On What Grounds Should You Sue Your Employer?
- Sexual harassment
This occurs when there is offensive conduct between an employee and an employer or any other member of staff. In this case, a lower-ranking employee is forced into sexual favors or sexual demands to keep their job and the benefits that come with it.
When an employer violates the rights of their employee by discriminating against them because of their color, age, race, medical status, origin, or because of a disability then they are liable for legal action.
- Workers’ Compensation
This is a payment of medical or monetary benefits to an employee who is injured while they are on the job. In this case, employees must provide compensation benefits who get injured at work. In case an employer refuses to offer compensation then the employee can consult a lawyer for employees and take legal action against the employer.
- Breach of employment contract
If an employer breaches an employment contract by failure to pay the amount that was agreed in the contract or withholding the stated benefits, they can be legally sued.
- Step #1: Document everything
Remember that the evidence you show will prove whether you have grounds to sue your employer. This is why documenting all of the relevant information about your employment is important. The information needed may be something as simple as a derogatory comment to withholding of your salary at a particular month.
When documenting this information, be consistent. Include dates, times as well as the people present when the event(s) was taking place.
Together with this information, include the employee handbook, your personnel file, your performance reviews, union contracts, and pay stubs. It is always best to keep these documents away from the office as you will lose access to them when you are fired.
- Step #2: Find an experienced lawyer for employees
It is challenging for any ordinary person to make out the complexities of suing an employer. This is where the experience of a lawyer for employees comes in handy.
This professional can not only analyze your case but will also look at your specific situation and give the appropriate recommendations.
The good news is that there are employment attorneys who consult for free. Therefore, an initial consultation will not cost you anything. However, if the lawyer decided to take up your case then you can negotiate on the retainer rates.
- Step #3: File a complaint
An experienced attorney will take you through the proper steps for filing your lawsuit. Usually, the filing location depends on the type of complaint.
For instance, breach of contract is a civil case that is filed in a civil court where wrongful termination is filed at an equal opportunity agency.
Apart from writing the complaint, your attorney will help you file it. Thereafter, your employer will be served with notice through a professional process server.
- Step #4: Proving your case
You can prove your case through the following ways:
- Discovery process
This is where your lawyer will provide all the essential documents that pertain to your case. In case the lawyer has questions for the defense team then they will ask through a “written discovery”. Finally, each side will review the information and those who are deposed under oath will undergo interviews by the court.
- Alternative dispute resolution
Just like the name suggests, you will have to decide on a method of mediation before your case goes to trial. This helps both parties to reach a compromise using the assistance of a neutral third party. If an agreement is reached here then the case may not need to proceed to trial.
- Going to trial
If you do not reach a compromise with your employer then the case will proceed to trial where you will have to call witnesses and provide evidence for a jury to make the final decision on the complaint.
This is how you file a lawsuit against your employer! It is important to be mentally prepared for the process. Through your attorney, you can fight for your legal rights and be compensated or reinstated accordingly.