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Tips for defending against a wrongful termination lawsuit

Feb 22, 2024 | Employment litigation

When an employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit against your company, it could open up your business to various risks. The consequences of being on the wrong side of the law can be dire, from financial penalties like back wages, damages and legal fees, to collateral damages, such as a soiled reputation and low employee morale.

Facing a wrongful termination lawsuit can be daunting, given these and other potential ramifications. However, you can effectively defend yourself against such a lawsuit with the right approach. Here are some tips that can help you prevail.

Understand the nature of the allegations

First, carefully review the wrongful termination claims made by the employer against you. Do they cite a breach of contract, discrimination or retaliation? Understanding the specific nature of the lawsuit against you can help prepare a targeted defense.

Gather relevant evidence

Collect all relevant documents, such as employment contracts, company policies and procedures, performance reviews and communication records that can support your case and refute the allegations against you. The goal here is to show your reasons for terminating the employee were within the confines of the law.

For instance, you can demonstrate performance issues and prior warning to clear allegations that you targeted a protected class or were discriminatory. Remember, you do not need a specific reason to dismiss an employee as long as it’s not unlawful if the employment is at will.

Maintain professionalism and seek qualified assistance

Remain calm and objective throughout the proceedings. Avoid taking any actions or making statements that could be perceived as retaliatory or discriminatory as they can further complicate the situation. Most importantly, reach out for legal guidance so that you can assess the situation in informed ways as you pursue a resolution that protects your interests as an employer.