Being unfairly dismissed can be emotionally and financially difficult.
However, there are some important steps you can take to get back on your feet.
As a former recruiter, I am going to share Steps to take if you have been unfairly dismissed and/or feel that you have been the victim of an unfair dismissal.
Note: if you are fired legally: If you’re not interested in legal action or unfair termination claims, skip to step 5 below.
If you think you may have been fired illegally Start from step 1.
1. If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, consult an attorney
Employment laws vary from state/country to state, so the first step in any potential wrongful termination is always to consult with an employment attorney.
Only an attorney can determine if you are likely to file a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
A good attorney knows both state and federal law on this matter.
They can help you plan your next steps after being unfairly dismissed. It will also let you know if there are any lawsuits so you can focus on moving forward and finding new positions.
A lawyer can also check your employment contract to understand if you are obligated to pay severance pay, etc.
And if you’re worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer, don’t worry. Most employment attorneys will discuss your situation and decide whether you should sue without charging you.
A lawyer explained this concept on Twitter recently:
2. Determine if an unfair termination has occurred
With the help of an attorney, you should be able to determine if you broke the law when you were fired.
I have been fired before. It was heartbreaking and humiliating. However, the company had the legal right to terminate my job without warning.
In the state where I worked (Massachusetts), an employer can fire an employee at any time, except for illegal reasons.
You can read the full definition of voluntary employment in this article.
Here’s the gist: There is a big difference between unfair dismissal and illegal dismissal. Sometimes they have the upsetting experience of being caught off guard and fired, but employers were within their rights.
When this happened to me, I accepted that the company had the legal right to fire me. And so I moved on.
Luckily, an employment attorney can help determine if there is a potential legal suit, so see step 1 above. Always consult a lawyer first.
3. Do not post on social media until you have consulted a lawyer
If there is a possibility of a wrongful dismissal claim, what you post on social media may be prejudicial to future lawsuits.
So resist the urge to vent or share your story on social media until you first consult with an attorney.
Even innocuous comments you think are justified can make your lawyer’s job more difficult. Let them decide what to share publicly and what not to do.
4. Document everything
As you go through this process, document everything you can.
Keep a record of any paperwork your employer has given you, obtain a copy of your job description, and also keep all emails you received from your previous employer during this process.
Note what is happening in real-time.
Write down the date, time, and names of everyone involved.
All of these details can help a lawyer determine whether a case is being filed.
Documents and emails can provide discrimination or other evidence. Therefore, save everything you can.
5. Collect key information from HR
Whenever you are unexpectedly laid off, you should consult with your human resources department to discuss your health insurance coverage period and options thereafter.
You can also refer to your employment contract to see if you are eligible for severance pay. If so, ask for details.
You might be directed to talk to HR on your last day, but if not, follow up with an email if you have any questions.
6. Be prepared to look for a new job
Whether or not you have a valid wrongful dismissal lawsuit, you should find a new job immediately.
After completing the above steps, it is recommended to focus on it.
Use your anger to fuel your job search and find a new and better role.
Also, ask yourself: Did you really want the job anyway? Did you like your boss, your co-workers, your position?
The harsh reality of being laid off was that I hated my job, had little in common with my colleagues, and felt lonely and unhappy in the office environment.
Getting fired was unexpected and hard, but it also cost me my job. no enjoying.
So focus on the positives (like the opportunity to find a better role right now) and focus on what you need to do next to advance your career.
7. Do not take it personally
Even if your previous employer was unfair and inconsiderate in firing you, it’s unlikely that it was a personal decision.
This was a business move, so please don’t take this personally as you move forward and try to redeem yourself.
One of the downsides of voluntary employment is that employers can fire employees with little or no warning for a variety of performance- or behavior-related reasons.
As I have experienced firsthand, US labor laws don’t always protect you.
So my advice here is: If a lawyer says they have a valid wrongful termination lawsuit, that’s great. If not, find a new job and be fine. But in either case, don’t take the firing personally.
Doing so will simply distract you and keep you from finding what you need next: a new role. As per…
8. Get your confidence back
It’s easy to lose confidence after being fired unexpectedly.
Remember, the fact that a company didn’t understand your worth, or that you struggled in one role, will make you less worthy as a person or as an employee as a whole. Not a thing.
You can find great companies that value your skills and reward you well financially for your skills.
But if you lose confidence and assume that no company wants you right now, you’re missing out on opportunities (because employers look for confidence in interviews).
Therefore, before starting your next job search, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of your strengths, successful/appreciated previous work, and what you can bring to your next role in terms of experience ( (including the experience gained by this unfortunate event) will be dismissed).
9. Maintain Important Business Connections
When you get fired, it’s tempting to immediately remove yourself from the situation and avoid anyone or anyone who reminds you of what happened.
But after you’ve spent a day or two collecting your thoughts, consider reconnecting with co-workers and colleagues you’d like to stay in touch with.
If you’re not already connected, submit a request to connect on LinkedIn.
These people may point you to new job opportunities or introduce you to jobs.
Especially if you’re faced with an unfair dismissal (or unfair dismissal), many people will be by your side and willing to help if you reach out.
10. Learn and move forward
Whenever something doesn’t go my way, there is a philosophy I like to adopt.
Look for everything that could have been done better or in a different way.
Even if the situation wasn’t my fault, there are always lessons to be learned and ways to improve.
If I get fired (I’ve been fired twice), I’ll be thinking:
- Maybe I should have put more effort into it.
- We could have communicated better.
- Maybe I shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place.
- Maybe I should have asked more (or different) questions before accepting the position.
- The role I had wasn’t what I expected, so maybe I could have asked to change to another role.
These are just a few examples of how you can examine and learn from a situation after being unfairly dismissed.
In short, getting fired happens to so many people. intention rebound. The key here is to refocus your attention on learning the lessons available and finding your next career role soon.
Then this experience will be a small part of your career history.