The 5 Steps to Take When You Suspect an Unfair Dismissal

Unemployment is a scary prospect to face, and losing your job can feel like a nightmare. Even worse is when you suspect you were dismissed for unfair or unlawful reasons.

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Wrongful termination or an unfair dismissal isn’t legal and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. If you’ve lost your job and suspect something is amiss, here’s what you need to do.

Understand Unfair Dismissal

First of all, you need to understand what you’re dealing with. An unfair dismissal or wrongful termination is the termination of employment without substantive reasons and/or a fair procedure being followed—such as a disciplinary hearing—or both.

Unfair or unlawful reasons for dismissing an employee can include being fired for discriminatory reasons (race, gender, age, etc.), retaliation, protected absences (such as jury duty), and other factors. is a great resource for understanding the details and seeking help in these matters.

Review Your Employment Contract And Company Policies

If you’ve been let go and you suspect wrongful termination, it's important to thoroughly review your employment contract. Look carefully for sections or clauses that specifically describe your employment duration and termination of the contract.

You should also review the company policies, specifically the sections dealing with dismissal procedures and any other aspects relevant to your contract, position, and the nature of your dismissal. If you need assistance, an employment attorney can read through these documents with you.

Gather Evidence

If, once you’ve read through these documents, you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed, take the time to document everything relating to your dismissal. Include any information that might be useful: emails, performance reviews, your dismissal letter, witness statements, or written accounts of any relevant conversations or behaviors.

This information will all need to be presented when filing any official complaints or taking legal action. Try to gather it all into either physical or digital documents and keep them organized.

If you have already been dismissed from your job, approaching your HR department might not be helpful. Instead, you’ll need to consult a legal professional to assist you with this issue.

An experienced labor lawyer will help you clearly understand employment law and your rights within the circumstances. To find a good attorney, make sure you seek out someone who specializes in employment law. Ask for recommendations or look for reviews online. You should also consider an attorney’s past cases and make sure you feel comfortable working with them.

Take Action

Once you’ve found a professional to guide you through the process and provided them with the evidence you’ve gathered, you’ll likely be presented with a few different options.

Your attorney might suggest negotiating a settlement, filing a complaint with a labor board, or taking legal action against your employer. You’ll need to consider what you hope to achieve in order to make a decision on the best course of action, and your attorney should help you understand the pros and cons of each route, as well as what each process will look like.