Paul Glusman, Attorney at Law

What To Do If You Are Fired

  1. If you are NOT fired, DON'T QUIT. Quitting, without consulting a lawyer first can make it a lot harder for you to pursue your rights. The employer will claim you left of your own accord and that if you'd stayed, they would have worked things out. Even if this isn't the truth, it is hard to prove it if you are gone.
  2. Do not take company documents, computers, phones or anything else that belongs to the company. Even if the company illegally fired you, their lawyers will muddy the waters by claiming that you are a thief.
  3. Do keep any materials that you are in legitimate possession of, such as your hiring letters and contracts, employment appraisals, and employee handbooks and policies. If you have an appointment with Paul Glusman, make copies of these things, so that he can access them in electronic form.
  4. Don't write down what happened except to tell your attorney, whether it is Paul Glusman or someone else. Otherwise the company will be able to get a copy.
  5. Don't talk about what happened to anyone except your attorneys. Your lawyers will let you know who else you can tell. Employers have been getting particularly nasty lately and some will sue you for libel or slander if you tell anyone what happened.
  6. If the employer wants to begin an investigation and question you, and you are no longer employed, politely tell them that you will talk to your lawyer first and do what he or she recommends. In most cases an employer will have had the opportunity to investigate before you were fired. If the employer investigates after firing you, the chances are that it is just covering up by trying to justify what it did after the fact.
  7. If you are still employed when the company asks you to participate, this is different. You have the duty to cooperate with the employer. If you are a union member you have rights to have another employee or a union representative present at your questioning. If you have time, call a lawyer before talking to an investigator. In any event ask to have another employee or a representative present at your questioning as a witness so that the company cannot misrepresent what you said. Also ask if you can record it, or, if they say no, if you can take notes. Always ask for a copy of the investigator's notes of your investigation.
  8. Look for a new job right away. Keep a record of your job search, in writing. Keep copies of all letters, emails, resumes and other material you sent to each prospective employer. Keep a separate calendar (from your personal calendar) of who you approached, who approached you, interviews, phone calls, and other job-related matters by date. Also, keep in mind, that getting a good job is better than getting a good lawsuit. If your case does come to court, your judge and jury will want to see that you have been looking for a job and not just waiting for an award.