Whether you believe you were terminated from your employment for a discriminatory reason such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, marital status, age or retaliation (or currently working with the discrimination), one of the most important questions you may have is, “Do I have a case?” Before you contact an attorney you should ask yourself the following:
What is your age, educational background, and employment history? Do you have a criminal record?
- Basic info about your (current or former) employer
What type of business is it? Number of employees? Has the employer been sued previously?
- Hiring process
When were you hired? For what position? Who made the hiring decision? Did s/he make any promises or representations? Did you sign anything?
- Employment history with this employer
Employment history with regard to: raises, promotions, bonuses, performance evaluations, awards, transfers, suspensions, demotions and disciplinary action?
- Events that led you to this point
If you were fired (or demoted or suffered some other adverse employment action), 1) why you think you were fired; and 2) the reason your employer gave or will give for firing you. If your case involves harassment, we will discuss the nature of the harassment (e.g., was it unwelcome; was it severe and pervasive) & your reaction to the harassment (e.g., did you complain to your employer?).
- Corroborating evidence
Were there any witnesses to the employer’s unlawful conduct? Do you have any documents to support your claims?
- Post-termination events
Have you initiated any other claims or proceedings related to your employment (e.g., unemployment, disability, workers’ compensation, or other governmental agency proceedings, or bankruptcy)?
- Potentially negative facts
Are you aware of any facts that might negatively affect litigation against the employer? These may be facts directly related to the workplace incidents or entirely unrelated (e.g., have you ever been arrested or fired from another job? Have you ever been sued or sued someone?). If you have a business and/or personal website; if you write a blog; if you use any form of social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook), you will have to volunteer that information.
- Mitigation of damages
The law requires you to mitigate your damages by diligently seeking substantially similar employment.
- The end-game and the litigation process
What do you hope to gain from pursuing legal action against your (former) employer: a private apology; a public apology; a quick settlement; a jury verdict? What are your concerns? Settlement and litigation processes, including the time involved, the potential cost (monetary and emotional), and potential negative outcomes.