After Harassment, Discrimination or Wrongful Termination, You Deserve Justice. But What Does Justice Mean to You?
November 4th, 2022
What once seemed like your dream job has turned into a nightmare. Maybe you endured harassment that your employer failed to address or stop. Perhaps you were denied opportunities, mistreated, or terminated because of your race, age, religion, disability, or other legally protected status. Maybe you observed illegal conduct in your organization. Or you may have had the courage to notify your manager or government authorities about the misconduct against you or the wrongdoing you observed, and your employer responded by making your work life a living hell or firing you for standing up for what’s right.
You’re at a Turning Point. Which Way You Turn Is Up to You.
You’re understandably angry about what your company has done – or is still doing – to you, your career, and your sanity. Through no fault of your own, and because of your employer’s wrongful and possibly illegal conduct, you’re out of work or about to be. A giant curveball has been thrown into your career path; you find yourself at a sudden, unexpected, and undeserved turning point; and you ask yourself, What do I do now?
The answer to this question, which thousands of Americans ask themselves each year after suffering workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful termination, depends on the answer to another question: What do you want?
Put another way, when your employer has wronged you, what in your view would make it right? What would justice mean to you?
There’s no single or right answer to either of those questions. One person in your shoes may decide to put the experience in the rearview mirror and move forward with life. Another may want to keep their job or get it back. Some folks would want to put the company “on blast” and share the misconduct with the world or send angry emails to those responsible. Others may just want an apology.
For many wronged employees, however, justice means that their employers are held accountable for their wrongful actions and the damage they’ve done. This could mean raising potential claims in the context of severance negotiations or filing civil lawsuits to vindicate their rights and obtain compensation. It may also include pursuing whistleblower lawsuits for alleged violations of the law.
Whatever You Decide, Make Sure It’s an Informed Decision
Only you can decide what to do at this critical turning point. But to make this decision, you need to fully understand your rights and your options and how different courses of action could advance your desired goals.
The best way to do that is by meeting with an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your situation. Many law firms, including Halunen Law, offer free initial consultations to victims of wrongful employment actions. Meeting with one of our lawyers won’t cost you anything. It’s equally important to understand that meeting with or hiring an attorney doesn’t mean that you’ll pursue a lawsuit against your employer. That may not be the best course of action given your situation or objectives, or you may not have a viable claim. In our next post, we’ll discuss alternatives to litigation that employees can take when their employers violate their rights or engage in other illegal conduct.
Whatever direction you take, meeting with a lawyer is the first step in moving from being a victim to being in charge.