Originally posted on: https://commonlegalquestions.com/having-issues-at-work-or-think-you-might-be-fired/
By: Ty Hyderally, Esq., and Jennifer Vorih, Esq.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation at work keep these things in mind.
If you have not been fired yet…
- It can be very helpful to get legal advice before your employer takes action against you, such as writing you up, threatening you with termination, or terminating you. This way, you may be able to take action to put yourself in a better position, should you be terminated. It might even help you avoid being terminated, written up, or suspended!
- Think about ways to preserve evidence which are legal and do not violate company policy. If you are not already familiar with your employer’s policies on forwarding emails, copying documents, downloading documents, recording conversations, taking photographs on company property, etc., you should look into this before you do any of those things. You should not take any documents to which you are not entitled, and should be mindful of confidentiality concerns. Also, even if downloading documents or sending them to yourself does not violate company policy, keep in mind that the company might well become aware of you doing this. Different states have different laws regarding recording conversations without others’ knowledge, so this is something you will want to think about if you find it necessary to do so…especially if you are recording a conversation with someone who is located in another state.
If you have been fired or were forced to resign…
- You may want to consider legal action. A big part of the damages for which you would sue are lost wages, or the income you would have received if you had not been terminated or constructively discharged. But you need to be mindful of your duty to mitigate damages. An employee who was wrongfully terminated cannot just sit back and let their lost wages build and build. Rather, such potential plaintiffs must make reasonable efforts to seek replacement work, and even accept work if it is offered. Keeping a record of all your job search efforts can be very helpful in proving that you have met your duty to mitigate damages.
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