All I Got For Christmas Was A Pink Slip

Every employee hopes for a bonus at Christmas time.  But terminations are also common.  Is it because the company is looking to avoid the Christmas bonus?  Is it because the company is simply trying to reduce staff before the end of the year?  For whatever reason, we see a slight uptrend in terminations at this time of year, including wrongful terminations.

The most common kind of wrongful termination is retaliatory discharge.  You complained about sexual harassment or discrimination earlier in the year.  Now is as good a time as any to get rid of you.  (By the way, this is not advice not to complain of discrimination or sexual harassment.  To the contrary you should.  Most companies are savvy enough not to engage in retaliatory acts — wrongful termination is a rare thing.)  So what do you do next?

The rule of thumb has been that it takes one month per $10,000 of annual earnings to find a similar job.  So if you were making $100,000 a year, it should take about 10 months.  But it can be harder to find opportunities in the days leading up to Christmas and New Years.  Employers tend to have other things on their minds.

If you are lucky, your employer has offered you a severance package.  But when you look at it, it could be more and you are being asked to waive any claims you may have against the employer.  Besides, if you have accrued vacation, you should be entitled to that anyway.  So you need to ask whether you do have any claims.  Were you wrongfully terminated?  Were you subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination?  Are you owed wages that have not yet been paid?  Are you owed overtime?  Were you fired for taking time for medical leave or health reasons?  If so, your claims have value and just giving them away makes no sense.  More than that, your employer knows it.

This is the time to call an employment lawyer.  Discuss your situation and determine if you have any claims.  Is there something that can be done to improve your situation?  Each situation is different and there may be several options available to you.

The attorneys at Maduff & Maduff have been specializing in wage and overtime, discrimination, and civil rights law for more than 20 years. Contact us to see how we can help you with your employment law violation today.