The worst thing you never expected happened, you’ve been fired or laid off and now you don’t know what the next step is.

This is definitely a tough situation to be in. You start asking yourself a myriad of questions.

Is this the end of my career?

Why was I laid off/fired?

What on earth do I do now?

It’s completely normal to be upset in this situation. But you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it.

Instead, look at this as an opportunity to explore positions and fields that might better suit your experience and qualifications.

This worst moment could turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Keep that thought in mind.

Next, make sure you go through all of the following steps to ensure that you get compensated if the company had no grounds to terminate you.

Review Your Contract

Your employment contract is what sets all the rules for your relationship with your employer. Go through it thoroughly to see if your employer has violated any clauses of the contract.

Although you might have been given what seemed like a valid reason for termination, a closer look might uncover something that’ll provide you with grounds for a wrongful termination case.

Be Courteous

As much as you might be inclined to start bad mouthing your managers, destroying property, or causing chaos like you would see in a movie scene where the hero is being fired, don’t.

According to Callahan & Blaine, acting out against your employer will only make it way tougher for you to recover damages later on.

Unless mentioned in your contract, you are not even required to have a “final meeting” with your manager or an HR representative. You can just grab your things and leave.

Know Your Rights

As you depart away from your job, make sure you have a good understanding of your rights, what you owe, and what you are owed.

Things you may be entitled to include:

  • Sick leave
  • Overtime pay
  • Back pay
  • Accrued vacation

Be sure to speak to an HR representative about this if you’re unsure of what you are owed.

Document The Whole Process

In a situation like this, the more documents and evidence you have of what happened, the higher your chances are of being compensated.

Try to even write an account of exactly what happened between you and your employer, and in what manner you were terminated.

This information could prove to be crucial for your lawyer to determine whether you have been wrongfully terminated or not.

Contact an Attorney

Employment law can be a tough subject to grasp, that’s why enlisting the help of a wrongful termination lawyer is pivotal to the success of your case.

An expert lawyer would be able to explain the whole process to you in simple terms, tell you what to expect, and zealously defend your rights in court.