Sometimes, after a particularly frustrating firing, it is difficult to know if you were fairly terminated or if your employer fired you in retaliation. This an understandable point of confusion, and one that you should take great care to work through properly. If your employer did fire you in retaliation, then you should consider the steps you can take to stand up for justice in the workplace and defend yourself from unfair violations of your rights and an employee.
Proving that an employer terminated you in retaliation is often difficult to achieve, but certainly worth the effort. First, you must demonstrate that you took part in some protected activity, such as reporting discrimination in the workplace, or taking part in an investigation of inappropriate workplace behavior or unfair practices. If, for instance, you filed complaints with your employer about discriminatory behavior before your employer terminated you, then you participated in protected activity.
You must then demonstrate that you suffered some negative consequences within your work life, such as getting passed over for a promotion you are qualified to receive or facing a reduction in pay, benefits or privileges like preference in work assignments.
Once you demonstrate these, you must finally demonstrate that you suffered these consequences because of your participation in the protected activity. For many, many wrongful termination or workplace discrimination cases, this is the most difficult standard to meet.
If you believe that your circumstances warrant further consideration for legal action against your employer, you should consult with an experienced attorney to understand your options. An attorney will review the facts of your experience and any evidence you can gather to help you identify your strongest available strategies. You may find that you have more ways to fight discrimination than you expected, opening new doors as you do your part to create a just, safe workplace for all people.
Source: Findlaw, “Retaliation and Wrongful Termination,” accessed Dec. 22, 2017