How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination?
As discussed more fully on our wrongful termination page, the term “wrongful termination” is really a misnomer because a legal claim must be based on an unlawful termination, rather than a termination for a false, unproven or mistaken reason. Therefore, in our initial case evaluation, the Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers at Fidlon Legal will be looking for facts to support a claim of, for example, discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or interference with your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
To successfully bring these claims, it is important to prove that the reason the employer gave for the termination is false or “pretextual.” You should ask your employer to explain why they discharged you and take notes. If your employer refuses to explain the reason for its decision, you may often get more information when you file for unemployment benefits, particularly if there is an appeal and you have a telephone hearing before the Georgia Department of Labor. During the hearing, the employer will be forced to explain the reason for its decision and present whatever supporting evidence it has.
It is always helpful to keep copies of any awards, accolades, compliments or positive feedback you received on your work performance, and your performance reviews. A detailed timeline or journal is also helpful. It should include dates, times, locations, descriptions of events, and names of witnesses. We would also like to see copies of any relevant policies the employer has, particularly if you believe the employer violated them.
Discrimination and retaliation claims are typically proven either by: (1) direct evidence—i.e., and admission by the decision-maker that the termination was based on the employee’s age, race/color, gender, disability, national origin, religion, pregnancy, genetic information or veteran status, or retaliation for engaging in legally protected activity; or (2) comparator evidence—i.e., a comparison between similarly situated employees outside of your protected class who were treated more favorably for the same alleged performance problem or misconduct.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you should contact the Georgia wrongful discharge attorneys at Fidlon Legal for an initial case evaluation.