Being terminated from your job can be stressful. Sure, there’re financial implications. You could be left without the income you rely upon to pay your bills, which can threaten you with everything from collections to foreclosure. But there are other implications of being fired, too. For example, being terminated from a job that you held for a long time can disrupt your employment record, making it hard to find another job. This is especially true given that a lot of employers specifically ask if you’ve ever been terminated from another job in the past. This can have major implications for your future.
That’s why it’s important to carefully look at the circumstances surrounding your termination. In many instances, an employer’s actions in firing an individual are illegal. When that’s the case, you’re warranted in taking legal action. But even if you do so, you’re probably going to be handed a settlement offer to try to resolve the issue as quickly and as quietly as possible. But is one of these agreements in your best interests?
Before you can adequately answer that question, you should look at each of these factors:
- Your lost wages: If you’re wrongfully let go from your job, then you’re obviously going to miss out on wages. But the extent of your damages in this regard can stretch further than just your wages that were lost between your firing and the settlement. You might be able to take into account expected raises and bonuses, as well as expected lost wages and earnings capacity. It’s important to note here, though, that there’s an expectation that you’ll mitigate your damages, meaning that you need to be trying to find work. If you just sit back without trying to find a job, then you likely won’t be able to recover wages that were lost during that period.
- Your benefits: The benefits provided by your job might have been significant. Health insurance and retirement plans, including pensions, can be quite valuable, so you should certainly take your lost benefits into account when analyzing the appropriateness of a settlement offer.
- The emotional harm caused: There’s no doubt that losing your job can be stressful. You might be embarrassed and ashamed, all while you’re worried about how to pay your bills. Think about how you can show the emotional distress caused by your wrongful termination and how much that’s worth to you.
- The fees associated with your job search: In some instances, those who have been wrongfully terminated from their position need assistance finding another job. This may mean securing assistance from a firm providing employment services, or it could include additional training or education. You might be able to loop these costs into your damages calculation and utilize them in your settlement negotiations.
Know what you want from your claim
Before deciding on a settlement offer, think carefully about what you truly want from your case. Do you want to secure accountability to the fullest extent while maximizing your recovery? If so, then you need to look at the evidence to determine if taking your case to trial is the best option. Do you want to simply recover some compensation for your losses and quickly move on? If that’s the case, then settlement might be best for you. Regardless of which route you choose, though, there are steps that you can take to increase your chances of obtaining the best results possible under the circumstances. If you want to know more about how to go about doing that, then consider researching this area of the law and how you can use the law to your advantage.