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Dealing with a wrongful termination

Your boss calls you into his or her office and tells you that you're being fired, effective immediately. You're instantly furious, because you think it's not just unfair, but illegal. Maybe you recently filed a sexual harassment complaint, for instance, and you believe that's why you're being fired.

It's understandable that you're angry, but the best way to deal with a wrongful termination in the moment is to stay calm. Don't scream at your boss, rant about unfair treatment, lash out at co-workers or do anything else you're going to regret. Don't react based on emotion alone.

Instead, calmly start to gather evidence to support your case. Write down everything that has happened: the date you filed the report, the date and time you were fired, who saw you get fired, who was in the office with you and your boss (if anyone) and things of this nature.

If you still need to vent -- and you probably will -- do it with someone who is not connected to the company. Talk to your spouse when you get home, get a few of your trusted friends together or talk to other family members. These are all safe outlets and you can say the things you need to say without hurting your own position and your case.

Remember, if your rights have been violated and the firing was illegal, you may be able to take action in court. Instead of focusing on your anger or how hurt you are, turn around and channel that energy into putting your case together. Use it as a positive and focus on making things right legally. It may take time, but that's a far more productive and helpful mindset.

Source: Investopedia, "How To Handle A Wrongful Termination," Annie Mueller, accessed May 11, 2017

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