If you’ve lost your job in West Virginia and feel you were wrongfully terminated, you should know that you may have legal options. With the help of a skilled and experienced West Virginia wrongful termination lawyer, you can find out if, in fact, your termination was unlawful and if actions can be taken against your employer. By taking legal action against an employer who wrongfully terminated you, you can potentially receive compensation that can ease the process of finding a new job.
Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit or wrongful dismissal claim against an unlawful employer may additionally help prevent other workers from facing similar treatment. All businesses must follow local, state, and federal employment laws that dictate under what conditions an employee can be fired and how the termination process must proceed. If any of these laws aren’t followed, grounds for a lawsuit may be present.
How Do I Know if My Employer is Guilty of Wrongful Termination?
Employment laws are complex and frequently change as new laws are passed and new acts are brought into the approval process. Every state also has separate employment laws with corresponding wrongful termination laws which govern under what conditions a termination is considered unlawful.
Here are some common ways in which a wrongful termination claim might be able to be filed in West Virginia:
- If your employer violated a contract of employment
- If you employer violated a disciplinary policy set in place by the company
- If your employer broke federal anti-discrimination laws and terminated you based on your race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or pregnancy
- If your employer broke state anti-discrimination laws based on any of the same factors above
- If you were terminated after refusing to take illegal actions on the job
- If you were fired after reporting OSHA or other safety violations
- If you were terminated after you took time off that you were legally able to take (this includes time for military services)
- If your employer terminated you after they discovered you were acting as a “whistleblower” regarding illegal activities taking place at work (if you were, for example, speaking out about unsafe work conditions)
Taking Legal Action After a Wrongful Dismissal
If you were terminated from your job and feel the dismissal was unlawful, you have a limited period to act during. Your first instinct may be to file an unemployment claim, but you should not file one if you feel your dismissal violated one or several state/federal laws. The information you state on your unemployment claim may harm your chances of filing a successful wrongful termination lawsuit.
Here are the actions you should take following a wrongful termination in order to protect your legal rights:
- Gather as much evidence as you can regarding the termination and why you feel it was unlawful
- Keep a written account of what happened, when, and under what conditions
- Gather the contact information of any coworkers, witnesses, or friends who may be able to share their account of what happened
- Obtain copies of your company’s employment manual/policies
- Contact a law firm that specializes in employment laws and specifically wrongful termination
Right after you are dismissed is the ideal time to contact a wrongful dismissal lawyer. If you are unsure if your termination was, in fact, unlawful, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney at this time and ask any questions you may have.
Contacting the Right West Virginia Wrongful Termination Lawyer
At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we offer free consultations and handle all our employment cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we won’t charge you a dime if your claim is not successful. Any fees we receive will come out of the final settlement award if one is obtained in your favor.
Our Charleston wrongful dismissal attorneys can help you understand your termination and file a claim if we feel you may benefit from doing so. With our help, you can right a wrong that was done to you and your family. To learn more, get in touch today.