Every client wants to know if they have a good case. Our job is to build a good case for you, but rather than considering if your case is 'good' or 'bad', we prefer assessing the potential risks and rewards of litigation.
By the end of a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer, you should have a clear idea of what options you have, what you should think about and the potential outcomes of your decision. Then you can make a personal choice about whether the reward is worth the risk.
Below are some common steps and timelines for a straightforward wrongful dismissal case.
Send a letter asking for more money.
It is usually worthwhile retaining a lawyer to send a demand letter to your employer after you have been terminated. This is the least expensive step and usually leads to an increased offer.
Some clients are afraid that their employer will withdraw their first offer, or that this offer will expire once the deadline passes. However, it is unlikely that your employer will withdraw their first offer. This first offer almost always remains on the table unless the situation changes or you become employed. Most termination letters contain an offer and a one-week deadline to accept. But once lawyers are involved, this first deadline usually passes without consequence.
Be willing to wait and willing to compromise.
Some cases settle after a letter and a phone call. Others settle after a court action is served, at mediation or at pre-trial. In rare occasions, clients push for a trial.
Most cases take a few months to settle, but they can range from 2 weeks to 3 years. The timeline depends on both parties' willingness to compromise.
If you remain unemployed, you will likely receive more.
You will often end up with more money if you cannot find comparable new employment following a dismissal. For instance, if your case is worth 16 months of severance pay, and your employer only offered you 10 months' pay, you will likely receive more if you remain unemployed. But if you accept a job at the same level of pay after 8 months, then your wrongful dismissal damages are limited to 8 months' pay (the period of time you were unemployed).
You have a duty to seek re-employment.
Despite the fact that you would limit your wrongful dismissal charges, you have a legal duty to search for alternate employment. This includes applying for jobs, attending interviews and accepting a reasonable offer of employment. Failure to do so will ultimately harm your case.
Fairness includes a broad range out outcomes, and it is the best mindset to adopt when considering suing an employer for wrongful dismissal. A fair offer or outcome depends on your particular situation. This is a question you should feel comfortable answering after exploring all the issues with your employment lawyer.
Contact Hyde HR Law for expert legal advice and representation.