The scope for wrongful termination varies depending on the terms of employment agreement and varies by the authorized power to constitute legal judgments and decisions.The following list of items forms wrongful dismissal if you are terminated for any:
Employment cannot be dismissed by an employer because an employee is of a certain religion, age, sex, nationality, sexual orientation or race. Such characteristics of employees are protected under state and federal laws. If an employee is dismissed because of race, for example, that person has the right to file a suit for wrongful dismissal in opposition to his or her employer.
- Refusal by an Employee to Act Illegally:
Employers are not authorized to dismiss an employee because of the employee’s refusal to do something which is illegal.
An employee cannot be dismissed by an employer because of filing a discrimination claim or because of taking part in a discrimination investigation case. Doing this is called retaliation, an action that can make an employer to be sued for wrongful dismissal. Other activities which are protected include military service, taking leave for medical reasons, taking time to go and vote, or sitting on a board.
A great percentage of state laws and unionized laws ban employers from retaliating employees who address doubt in violation of law through whistle blowing. For example, if an employee notifies the Agency for Environmental Conservation that toxic waste has been dumped into the neighbouring watershed by her employer, such an employee is protected at the federal level by laws on whistle blowing.
- Failure of the Employer to Follow Own Procedure for Termination:
A company or organization policy or the employee’s handbook gives a process that is to be followed before termination of an employee. If any employee decides to dismiss an employee without using the right process, the worker has the right to claim for wrongful dismissal.
Wrongful termination normally arises first from the dismissed employee as a claim. The employee can be able to win back their pay, job, and compensation for damages and additional costs in a victorious settlement for wrongful termination or lawsuit. Claims for wrongful termination may be hard to prove and also a risk to employers and because of this, many of the claims are solved in settlements. Wrongful dismissal settlement value depends on several factors which differ from one case to another.
Why We Have Many Wrongful Termination Settlements
Most of the claims for wrongful dismissal or terminations do not reach the courtroom. Many of these cases are solved ahead of time.
Why Termination Cases are Settled Early
Often, the media makes the process of settling major cases seem relatively short. The truth is cases can possibly meander for years through a court system. All the sides have to take time to research facts about the case and the law concerning the case. The parties file initial papers months before the beginning of trial with the court. All this is time consuming.
In addition, trial is an expensive and long process. Most people do not file suits to just get the experience of a courtroom and therefore, instead of going for trial, they opt to settle the case in order to avoid the expenses. This is done while the dismissed employee is being compensated for the loss.
Settling the case does not only eliminate the expenses of trial but also helps the parties to avoid risks of potential losses through a jury law judgment. Therefore, settlements are seen by both parties as the number one option available, given the uncertain nature of public trials.
One of the main obstacles of the dismissed employee is to show beyond any doubt that he/she was dismissed for reasons that are not permitted such whistle blowing, race, gender or for addressing harassment. Employers, too, respond with reasons that are supposedly valid as evidence for firing. These may include poor performance.
Employers normally have reasons to settle too. Even though trials are uncertain, when an employer defends himself/herself successfully wrongful dismissal trials can damage a company by revealing potentially harmful information.
Valuation of Wrongful Dismissal Claim
The money value of dismissing an employee depends on several factors which aim to determine the value of loss suffered due to firing. Some of the factors which are commonly considered in determining claim values are:
- Wage Loss
This refers to the amount the employee has lost from when he/she was dismissed to the present date. The employee should make these damages less painful through looking for another job, for example. Interim advantages which include income from a new employment or benefits of unemployment are subtracted from the total of past wage. Sometimes, forthcoming wage loss is calculated. An example is when an employee is not able to find another job before the time of settlement or trial.
- Benefits Lost
When determining the value of lost earnings, benefits lost are also calculated. For instance, when a dismissed employee is forced to fund their own health insurance after dismissal, the employer can be responsible for these. Benefits may also include the extra perks that supplement the salary of an employee such as company car and loss of stock alternatives.
- Emotional Torture
This is the cost of mental torment experienced by the employee due to wrongful termination. An employee who has experienced depression, anxiety or any other emotional distress due to their dismissal can claim repayment for this suffering. The compensation for emotional torture is majorly in claims of discrimination or harassment.
- Litigation Cost
This is yet another factor that should be considered when determining the proper value of a claim. Litigation cost is the value of money that you will use to go through a trial. This can include legal fees depending on what you have agreed with your lawyer. Most of employment retaliation and discrimination allows employees to recover these costs and legal fees from a previous employer if the employee wins the case. However, in the case the employee does not win, he/she cannot recover these expenses.
- Practical Consideration
This means that you should consider the amount your previous employer is able to afford and is willing to pay. For instance, a company that is small and which does not have an insurance cover due to its unprofitability cannot afford to make an equal amount of settlement as that of a big company or smaller company with insurance cover. As an employee, you need to understand this. However, this does not generally mean you have to accept a lower payment as a result. It’s something that requires least understanding.
Other Factors that Influence Wrongful Dismissal Settlement
Apart from the money value associated with an employee’s wrongful dismissal claim, settlements are influenced by other factors. In an example, majority of employees also follow claims seeking justice or to be cleared of suspicion or blame and not just to get back the lost income. Employees who are discharged as a result of retaliation or discrimination can see a victorious settlement as giving confirmation and end.
Some employees also pursue claims in order to see a change in the company policy that will prevent similar wrongs in the future.
Also, employers who hold to have done no wrong can seek to refrain from settling with the aim of discouraging such claims in future. If the company’s insurance covers legal expenses cost, that employer will want to litigate such a case.
Seeking For an Attorney to Help
If as an employee you feel and believe that you have been dismissed wrongfully, consider looking for an attorney who is qualifies for laws of employment. If you have any concern about the legal action process or have questions concerning wrongful dismissal settlement, the attorney will explain to you and will guide you to determining the right path forward.
How to Choose an Attorney in the Las Vegas area…
If as employee who has been dismissed have thought about contacting an attorney, consider the following:
- Comfort level: Choose an attorney you are comfortable with when telling them your personal information. The attorney should also be someone who is interested in providing a solution to your problem.
- Qualification: Consider the duration of time the attorney has been in work. Consider also if the attorney has solved other cases like yours.
- Cost: Seek to know how the attorney’sfee is structured. Whether the fee is charged hourly or it is a flat fee. Choose an attorney who is able to estimate your case cost.
- Location: Consider whether the attorney’s office is located in a convenient place. If the attorney is located far, it will cost you more because you may be forced to pay for their transport. Choose an attorney who is located near you.