If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination, filing a claim against your employer may be your next step.

However, you have probably never done this and may feel ill-equipped to handle the matter properly. Here are five tips to help you manage the task of filing a wrongful termination claim.

1. Gather facts

First, the facts. Learn all you can about who decided to terminate you and the reasons behind this decision.

2. Ask to look at your personnel file

You have the right to view your personnel records. These should contain information about your job responsibilities, how you performed such responsibilities, annual reviews and any complaints or marks against you.

3. Gather evidence of promises

Pull together evidence of any promises your employer made relative to your role as an employee.

4. Consider the severance package alternative to filing a wrongful termination claim

You may consider asking for and negotiating a severance package. In some situations, your employer may find this a better option than the possibility that you may file a claim of wrongful termination.

5. Seek legal guidance

Before you take any action, seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced with discrimination, wrongful termination and other employment matters can help you determine your next steps and what kind of action would be the most beneficial from your perspective.

Possible reasons

Keep in mind that an employee may consider filing a wrongful termination claim against an employer for several reasons:

  • Violation of both written and oral employment agreements
  • Violation of labor laws
  • Violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws
  • Termination as a form of sexual harassment
  • Termination as retaliation for an employee complaint against the employer

How to answer questions

Finally, once you decide on a course of action, fellow employees may wish to know what happened and how you are dealing with your termination. Simply tell anyone who asks that you are not at liberty to discuss the matter. If litigation is a possibility, do not discuss legal strategy or talk about the evidence you have regarding wrongful termination.