McNamee Hosea News & Press


What To Do If an Employee Claims a Termination Was Wrongful

Letting an employee go can be a very unpleasant and difficult decision for any employer, but it is often a necessary aspect of owning a business and managing employees.

In some cases, firing someone is fairly straightforward and the employee leaves the job without pushing back. In other cases, an employee can be very upset and threaten to take legal action because he or she believes the firing is wrongful.

Employers can and should be very nervous about what a potential lawsuit might do to their business and often want to do whatever they can to avoid the cost, anxiety and time commitment of litigation. This is why it can be crucial to have the guidance of an attorney.

Even before firing anyone, you as an employer can protect yourself and your company by making sure termination policies and permissions are clear. For example, confirming that an employment relationship is or is not at-will can be essential, as is setting clear behavioral and performance standards in an employee handbook or contract.
If you thought you had all these protections in place but are still fearful that an employee will pursue a lawsuit after being fired, you need to collect pertinent information to defend your decisions. This could include performance reports, contracts, email chains and other documentation that could be relevant.

Being prepared can be one of the best ways to avoid a wrongful termination claim by a former employee, though there is typically much more that needs to be done if a claim is ultimately filed. Discussing your options with your attorney can be crucial as you navigate the legal nuances of defending your decisions or negotiating a settlement.

Our law firm is positioned to help Maryland employers who are either facing an immediate situation involving wrongful termination claims or want to be proactive in avoiding disputes by setting up clear and enforceable policies from the beginning. For information on our services and capabilities, please visit our website.