Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires you for an unlawful reason. Wrongful termination cases often occur because of illegal discrimination or illegal retaliation. This is different from a situation where you might disagree with the employer’s reasons for the termination, and there is no evidence of discrimination or retaliation. In those cases where the termination violates a law, and if you are successful in your legal claim, you can get money damages for losses such as lost wages and benefits.
An additional remedy may also be reinstatement where the employer is ordered to return you to your job. While most people may not want their employment back after a wrongful termination, there are a few reasons that someone might want to go back to the same job.
Examples might include:
- Relationship with co-workers
- Generally enjoyed the work
- Good pay
- Opportunities for advancement
In most situations, however, employees have such a bad experience with an employer that they do not want their job back after a wrongful termination. Nonetheless, if you win your wrongful termination case, you might be able to go back to work as you were before the termination. Additionally, you should still request reinstatement as part of your claim which may encourage the employer to pay you more money to avoid having you return to work. You can always choose not to return to the job.
A Quick Example…
Imagine, that you were sexually harassed at work by your supervisor. Your supervisor insisted that you respond positively to his sexual advances to keep your job. You decide to report him for his harassing behavior. Soon after, he fires you.
In that situation, you clearly have been wrongfully terminated. You were not only being harassed because of your sex but you were also retaliated against for reporting your supervisor’s unlawful actions.
In this example, perhaps you love your job other than your experience with your supervisor, and you would really like to get your job back. That supervisor may no longer be with that company by the time you prevail in your lawsuit, or the employer might decide to terminate the supervisor when the court or jury rules in your favor.
Get Help with Your Wrongful Termination Case
In most cases, the working environment has become so bad that it is intolerable by the time you start a wrongful termination case. In cases like that, you likely do not want to go back to that environment—and you do not have to return. Nonetheless, if the employer is willing to take you back, you can sometimes be fully reinstated in your previous employment if that is your goal.