Proving Unlawful Termination
When an employee is unlawfully terminated, it means they are discharged for an illegal reason. In New Jersey, an employee who is unlawfully terminated may hold an employer responsible for violating the law. Even an at-will employee who is unlawfully terminated may hold an employer responsible. In New Jersey, employers cannot fire at-will employees for discriminatory reasons. For example, an employer cannot fire an at-will employee based on their sex, race, age, gender identity, or religion.
If you believe you were unlawfully terminated, it is crucial that you collect as much evidence as possible. But how do you gather evidence considering employers do not generally come out and admit to firing employees for illegal reasons? Usually, employers will give a false reason for firing an employee, such as poor performance.
To prove that an employer’s reason for firing you is false and that the real reason why you were fired is an illegal one, the following are some of the types of evidence you can use;
Suppose the employer told you that the reason for your termination is poor performance. If you have positive performance reviews from a short while back in your personnel file, you can use those reviews to prove that you were performing well at work.
Employment contracts usually establish the reasons for which an employer can fire an employee. Therefore, if you have an employment contract, you should revise it from start to finish. You might find that the reason the employer gave you for your termination is not listed in your employment contract.
Pictures and Messages
If, for instance, you believe you were fired because you declined the employer’s sexual advances and you have harassing images, messages, or emails from the employer, you can use them as evidence. If you saved images, texts, or emails that prove discrimination, these could make a difference in your case.
Witness statements can help you corroborate other pieces of evidence, such as pictures and messages. Statements from co-workers can help you establish a pattern of illegal behavior conducted by the employer.
Other Decisions by the Employer
For example, suppose you were told that your termination is because of poor performance, but you believe the main reason the employer fired you is because of your gender. In such a situation, if, after your termination, the employer hired someone of the other gender who is less qualified than you, you may be able to use that decision as evidence.
When it comes to gathering evidence that you can use to prove unlawful termination, you should know that no evidence is too small. Whatever you think might be able to help you with your claim, gather and preserve it. Remember, the employer has evidence too. It would also be best to retain a qualified employment lawyer to help you with a unlawful termination claim. An experienced employment lawyer can help you with, among other things, gathering the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Contact Us for Legal Help
If you believe you were unlawfully terminated and need help proving your case and receiving the justice you deserve, contact a qualified New Jersey employment lawyer at The Trabosh Law Firm.