Deloitte surveyed millennials and revealed that 20% of them felt discriminated against racially/sexually in their organizations. No wonder the number of wrongful termination lawsuits has increased annually since 2005 – according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When we have almost 60% of Americans believing they’ve witnessed someone being discriminated against, the chances for lawsuits to win seems bright for mistreated employees. If someone has terminated you on wrongful grounds, it’s a valid excuse to sue that person. If you’ve suffered from workplace harassment and your superiors didn’t prevent it, here’s another reason to bring a lawsuit to the table. And let’s explain how to make your case stronger!
- Talk to your boss
The first step always involves talking to your employer/supervisor. In most cases, having decent and civilized conversations resolves whatever issue you have with the person. Speaking with the boss ensures that there’s no confusion/misunderstanding between you two and that you’re being mistreated by an aggressive employer. So, before you meet her/him, remember to know your rights as well as sticking with the facts. Keep the dialogue discreet and avoid being emotional before the boss.
- Don’t fight alone
“Don’t fight alone” is something we can’t stress enough! Not every employee can legally handle the responsibility of filing a lawsuit against an organization. You always require some outside help to strengthen your case. For instance, many companies make people work with asbestos-containing products, which sometimes leads to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. This cancer is diagnosed after many years or decades have passed. These victims (and their families) can acquire mesothelioma legal help to receive compensation by filing lawsuits against those companies. The attorneys with experience in handling mesothelioma-related cases can help you sue employers for this criminal negligence.
- Consider another job
Though you may skip this step because we don’t recommend backing down from your valid claim if your company has mistreated you, but can you handle the pressure of being the center of attention in the office? Some workers often face humiliation and even retaliation from coworkers, e.g., threats, rude gestures, and funny looks. Can you deal with the stress that accompanies these situations? You are a brave person if you can, no doubt! But there’s always the option of switching jobs, if you will.
- Determine your claim
It is essential to determine what lawsuit you wish to file against your boss. It involves the way you perceive yourself to be mistreated by your employer. We have discrimination where the plaintiff feels being persecuted for her/his gender, religion, or ethnicity. Harassment deals with someone speaking/treating you in a way considered sexually inappropriate. Some bosses don’t pay you what they’ve promised, while others make you work in hazardous situations/locations, just as we mentioned above.
- Document all events
Many lawsuits against an employer fail because the plaintiff hasn’t gathered the necessary evidence for convincing a jury. You need to collect proper documents to demonstrate that you do have a case against the employer/company. Ask your lawyer to help you gather evidence, e.g., verbal/non-verbal record of everything said/done to you. Also, don’t forget to create an accurate timeline of incidents that led to this lawsuit. It will help if you can convince some coworkers to become witnesses.
- Review your contract
Read your employment contract carefully before bringing any lawsuit against someone working in or for the company. Some organizations include a special clause in their contract that compels you to settle workplace conflicts by a “grievance procedure.” But these procedures sometimes fail to save an employee from harassment or unfair treatment. They may lead to suspensions, demotions, and transfer as well. So, meet with your attorney to discuss this clause if it exists in the contract.
- Prepare yourself mentally
As explained above, going against the boss can make your coworkers keep their distance from you. But that’s not it! Employers can also access your medical records (within some limits, of course) when there’s a lawsuit filed against them. The defense attorney will try everything for the sole purpose of discrediting your claims. Then ask yourself another question: Are you prepared to see skeletons in your closet come out of it? Your boss can also subpoena documents from your past employer. Are you okay with your previous coworkers sitting across the table and testifying that you were a below-average employee? So, we recommend you prepare yourself mentally.
- Failure does happen
In the end, don’t eliminate the possibility of failure as litigation is a stressful, lengthy, and agonizing procedure. Lawyers will fight tooth and nail to bring down your employer if that’s what their clients wish. But – like judges – they’re also prone to settle. Don’t forget that coworkers will consider your lawsuit as a “declaration of war.” So, always be realistic and don’t lose hope if you’re sure this case will end in your favor. Some plaintiffs can even make over $50,000 in provincial courts as well.
One of the reasons why Horrible Bosses became successful was probably how many employees feel the same way about their superiors. A 2014 study conducted by Hiscox shows that there’s a 12.5% chance of employers being sued by their workers. We have examples of people suing their companies for putting them in danger, causing them emotional distress, and discrimination/harassment, among many reasons. So, if the HR department doesn’t resolve these matters, you should bring a lawsuit against the company. Review your employment contract, document everything to strengthen your case, and hire the services of a qualified attorney. That’s how your employer gets what s/he deserves for treating you unjustly.