Legal

5 Things to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer

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There is no substitute for a healthy, happy, and productive workspace.

Employees thrive in an environment that supports and celebrates them, and if you are fortunate enough to be familiar with such a workplace – this article likely is not for you, but it could be helpful to someone you love. If, on the other hand, your working conditions are so awful that you are thinking of suing your employer, read on.

This is likely the lowest point in your career and as much as it may seem like it right now, things can and will get better. However, you cannot decide this lightly. Suing your employer is a big deal and you should know these five things below before moving forward:

The Letter of the Law

Contrary to popular belief, it is not at all against the law to be an unfair employer. Life is not fair, so you cannot expect work to be different.

While working at a fair company is the dream, many Americans witness favoritism daily. Most corporations have policies against nepotism and favoritism – but those are just policies and not laws.

Before you sue your employer, you must be confident that they did not simply treat you unfairly or inconsiderately.

Evidence or Witnesses

As everyone should know by now, workplace discrimination is against the law.

Your employer has to treat everyone the same, regardless of background, race, ethnicity, or gender – among other things. And yet, workplace discrimination is still rife in corporate America.

If you think you were discriminated against or not paid properly, you will need evidence or witness statements to back that up. As mentioned, discrimination is against the law, so any allegations to the contrary must be well supported.

What’s the Plan?

Suing your current employer will not be a walk in the park.

While retaliation might be illegal, it will be stressful – and there is nothing you can do to stop that. 

Your co-workers or managers will probably act differently toward you, and that is okay. If you are righting a wrong and standing up for yourself, it is the right thing to do.

Before you seek legal assistance in employment issues, come up with a plan for how you intend to deal with co-workers asking questions or passing comments. 

Be assertive and clear – you will likely not be allowed to discuss an active lawsuit anyway.

Internal Processes

Most companies have internal processes and policies for dealing with workplace issues.

It would be wise to try resolving your problems internally before jumping to conclusions (and lawsuits). Give the company a chance to right its wrongs before you sue. Many issues can be resolved without the need for courts and lawyers.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is one of the trickiest things to sue an employer for!

While not impossible, it will require you to accept that your life will no longer be personal. Your employer’s legal team will dig deep into your life and use everything they find to make it out like this was not such a big deal for you after all.

They will dredge out all of your skeletons like diseases, divorces, accidents, arrests, etc. Make sure you are ready to deal with those things again – should they come up.

To End

As scary as these next few weeks will be, finding the right legal team to navigate this journey with you will help more than you realize.

Take the time to unwind each right and find exercises to help keep a level head – you will need it.


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